Neverwonder – Let It Up

Written by on March 18, 2010 in March 18, 2010, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Neverwonder – Let It Up

NeverwonderI’ve made it a point to familiarize myself with a lot of female fronted rock acts. I have a tendency to take an interest in these bands, only to find that, no matter the subgenre, many of them are defined entirely by the “chick vocalist.” Then I heard Los Angeles band Neverwonder’s most recent release, Let it Out. Not only do they break out of the stereotype, they manage to create their own unique sound, blending rock, pop, soul, and R&B, defined not only vocally, but instrumentally, as it should.

Opening with the riff heavy “Help Me,” Neverwonder don’t hold back. What’s immediately interesting about this track, and subsequently several others, is the use of both electric and acoustic instrumentation. I will say, however, this is a characteristic, even more prevalent in later track “Superior.” And if these excellent vocals sound familiar, you may have heard them before. I refer back to Season 5 of American Idol, where Neverwonder’s Megan Bobo first got her start, making it to the top 25. But if I’m being honest, her work in Neverwonder is by far the best display of her full potential. An entirely acoustic version of “Help Me” is also featured on this album, which is equally as good.

The next track, “Wild Out” is much more driving in style, while still remaining very listener friendly. There’s a rapped interlude from Blow Staxx could pass for a reggae or ska-influenced backing, defined by the guitar tone and playing style. Some fans that might have more of a rock preference might be put off by the direction the song seems to take, but it’s easily overlooked, as it suits the song perfectly.

NeverwonderAs I mentioned earlier, the track “Superior” features some interesting acoustic instrumentation, from the apparent addition of the cello, to the acoustic guitar, to the non-kit percussion in addition to the typical rock setup. But one thing that deserves mentioning is the lyrical progression. At first, it comes off as surprising self-praising and indulgence. But by the end of it, a close listener will come to appreciate that this is blatantly tongue-in-cheek, taking a cynical approach to the so called superiority of celebrities.

From “Superior” to the end of the album, there are some reworkings of songs already heard, like two new versions of “Help Me”, a remix of “Wild Out” and a nice lounge version of Spinning. It closes with some consistently great tracks, but for length reasons, I’d like to finally mention the very last track, which doesn’t actually feature music. Instead, it’s a direct, light hearted thank you from the band to the fans. This seems like an unusual thing to look at in a music review, I realize, but you really get an idea of the band’s appreciation for those that support them, which I feel is necessary for a band’s credibility, and as such is a nice inclusion and closer.

Let It Out is a long album, with 17 total tracks. I could continue going on about each track individually, but I’d rather just finish up with some overall points. First off, I’ve got to say that this was an impressive release. Megan Bobo is consistently at the top of her game, and the rest of the band are equally as qualified. It’s a great mix of different genres, although I wouldn’t mind seeing this band lean towards some harder rock. I only say this because I believe they have tons of potential in that kind of field. But what they’re doing is great, and can’t wait to hear more of their work in the future.

Doug Deutsch Publicity Services