Search for the Hidden Gem (2011 – vol# 9)

Written by on November 17, 2011 in Music Reviews, November 17, 2011 - Comments Off on Search for the Hidden Gem (2011 – vol# 9)

Now that all hallows eve has come and gone it’s time to start training for Black Friday.

The Morning Birds

“The Quickening”
Style (Indie / Folk)

When I read an artist’s bio that says “they live free unshackled lifestyles without TV and radio” I know right away their meaning of free and unshackled is far different than mine.  In today’s digital age of technology it’s virtually impossible for any musician to live without some sort of Apple product, which to me isn’t living free unshackled.  But hey, having a band website with links to Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube has to mean something.  You know, either the air freshener I just opened is the new improved stink bug scent or something else is starting to stink up the joint.  Bio fabrications aside, these 22 tracks aren’t illuminating or interesting, and living shackled might be a better option.  A majority of the tracks are wandering melodic psychedelic folk vocalizations swaying back and forth against uninteresting background musical concoctions.  Ridiculously juxtaposed within the track configuration are scattered hip hop urban style vocalizations completely out of place and without necessity for two vanilla crackers with a CD that’s 98% pixie folk.  Really, hip hop?  I wasn’t aware living free unshackled communing with nature inspired the inclusion of hip hop or rap.  All those hikes I’ve taken in the woods and I apparently wasn’t tuned into the voice of nature.  But hey, maybe the bio description is meant to mean they don’t have a TV or radio because theirs got jacked, which would explain things more succinctly.  If I wasn’t turned off enough by these musical mash-ups, I’m really not coming back for seconds for a production mix that’s horribly flat and muted and sounds like the board was being driven with a restrictor plate going through a 15mph school zone.  Usually I’d recommend smoking a fatty to make this more palatable, but I’m not even sure purple haze would help wash this down.

Rating ½ (back to the drawing board)

Ten Cent Poetry

“Picking Through the Pawn Shop”
Style (Singer Songwriter / Americana)

This is the debut CD from Chelsea Lynn La Bate, whose vocal ability is beautifully melodic, relaxing and contemplative, I just wish I liked the songs more than I do.  Living somewhere within the Americana / Folk musical genre, Bate’s style is unique and a little nonconforming, which helps set her apart from her contemporaries.  However, her nonconforming style is both a blessing and a curse, and to be honest it causes me to pull back.  These 10 tracks are geared for the singer, and Bate is marvelous vocally, but missing is something tangible musically (a chorus, a melody, a guitar rhythm) for me, the listener, to grasp hold off.  I know not every artist writes catchy songs, and it’s not a prerequisite either to make a song good, but this genre of music is a hard enough sell on its own and tougher still if those listening to you have a glazed over zombie expression in their eyes.  I love the passion and emotion in the voice, but musically I’m counting sheep.

Rating 2

Zayde Buti

“I’m Lovin’ It”
Style (Hip Hop / Electronica / Dance-Pop)

This would be a great time to practice the great American Shake Out and exit the building as fast as possible.  In order to avoid dangerous exposure resulting in long term physical and psychological damage, be sure to cover your ears and don’t look at the monkey banging on trash can lids on the sidewalk.  I wish I could have been so lucky.  This is one of those musical masterpieces that has crossover ability and could be used as an effective interrogation tool if the CIA decides to incorporate a water boarding alternative.  For my own personal experience, I struggled to make it through 6 of the 12 creations on this disk, and afterwards I not only had the immediate urge to puke but also would have given up State secrets if interrogated.  During the course of my 4 years writing this blog I’ve encountered some truly awful music, but this dreadful clusterfuck is by far one of the worst I’ve encountered and should only be approached wearing a hazmat suit and noise canceling earphones, if it must be approached at all.

Rating 0 (this stuff is giving street performers a bad name)

Donna Loren

“Love It Away”
Style (Singer Songwriter)

Just like the citric acid from a grapefruit squirted in the eye, with each passing song it burns a little more than the last.  In her prime (in the 60’s), Ms.Loren was an attractive singer/actress appearing in the variety show Shindig as well as various TV episodic shows.  Today Ms.Loren is still a looker and has taken good care of herself over the years.  However, a singer can only get by on looks for so long before ability must account for something, and as both a songwriter and a singer, Ms.Loren’s best musical days have long since left the station.  In a nutshell, these 15 tracks are stupendously awful and incredibly hard to stomach with a straight face and no liquor.  I liken Ms.Loren’s singing to the bad karaoke singer cliché.  Her belted out renditions of ELO’s hit “Don’t Bring Me Down” and Neal Young’s classic “Old Man” are colossal disasters causing me to cringe with every passing note.  However, not to be overlooked or outdone by her choice of classic hits to destroy, Ms.Loren’s original songs are rudimentary lyrically and have the nails on a chalk board quality.  I could spend another 4 paragraphs listing all the ear-bludgeoning  problems, but in an effort to narrow down my point, in her song titled “Be Your Best Friend,” had I been the friend she wrote that for I would have asked for a blank hallmark card instead of ever having to hear her sing again.

Rating 1 (at least she still has her looks)