9/21/2006

Pete Teo-Television

Artist: Pete Teo
Title:
Genre: Alertnative-Folk
Label: Redbag
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Pete Teo plants a seed then it steadily germinates with the warmth of his music, just like the sun and the rain help a flower to grow. This is the best way to explain how this music made me feel. I loved Rustic Living For Urbanites, Teo’s previous release that came out in 2004, and the new release Television, is an exceptional follow up album.

His voice is a soft vibrato that gradually pulls you into his reflective, deep, and sometimes pensive storytelling. I think the best way to put this music into a specific genre would be to say that it is an entertaining form of alternative-folk. This is an art form expressed from an individual’s soul; I could feel that in this music. As I mentioned in my first review, the man is a poet, a true artisan developing his craft in every composition.

The packaging for the CD is impressive, it comes in a glossy cardboard slipcase with another cardboard sleeve that holds the CD, along with a thick (yes, glossy) booklet that has many pictures of the contributing musicians and the lyrics (which are so damned small I don’t think I could read them before I got glasses!). Packaging is always secondary to the music but a well conceived CD usually comes wrapped up in some sort of attractive packaging, it really does make a difference, especially if the music matches the packaging it comes in, and in this case, it does.

The one track that stood out the most for my ears was “Shine,” although every track had its merits and stood up as individual pieces of work. I loved the middle of the song when the rolling piano comes in; it is so rhythmic and catchy, a real foot stomper. Pete’s voice never seems to go up or down; it is steady throughout regardless of the subject…his inflection changes to emphasize certain lyrics but you never hear anything switch up dramatically (i.e. from soft to screaming). Consistency is the name of the game in any work you do and Pete Teo is one consistent recording artist that you can count on to deliver the goods. All 11 tracks served their purpose well for me; I enjoyed the music, lyrics, everything offered. I must mention that the outstanding musicianship was very apparent on this album, and the production quality, which Teo was a part of, was above average as well.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

September 21, 2006

Tracks:
01. Lost In America (4:47)
02. Shine (4:20)
03. Hide Your Gun (4:51)
04. Carnival Hall (4:04)
05. Sunday Best Shoes (4:33)
06. Laura Nelson's Bridge (5:55)
07. The Infidel (4:44)
08. Tom (5:06)
09. Blow (4:40)
10. Into The Storm (6:24)
11. Who For You? (3:33)

Credits:
Pete Teo - guitar & vocals
Nick Lee - Guitars
Justin Lim - piano
Ren Takada - Pedal Steel
Andrew Tan - Organ
Nguyen Hai Phuong - Dan Bau
Chan Kum Loong - Erhu
Hayakawa Takeharu - Bass
Lewis Pragasam - Drums
Yagi Nobuo - Harmonica
Steve Thornton - Tambourine
Angelita Li - Backing Vocals

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