Showing posts with label Pop Rock Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pop Rock Reviews. Show all posts


Pop Rock Review: Jeff Fowler-Live At The Mint

Release Date: April 29, 2022

Label:  Get It! Records, LLC


Any artist that has success has a solid core group behind them. Rick Wakeman said when he met David Bowie, the best advice he could have given him was that you get musicians that believe in what you are doing. I think in the case of Jeff he was able to do that on Live At The Mint.

The voice and music need to mesh and have excellent production values to be fully realized when recorded then released to the public. Ok so another box is ticked, the production is very good and and nice and clear.

Jeff has a very smooth delivery, perfect for covering pop-rock tunes of his own and some covers with a tasty encore medley with many fan favorites. His vocal approach is very comforting and it suits the tracks he performs.

Tracks like “Firefly” provide a good example of that particular sound. Think of the soft touch of a Christopher Cross at his peak or hints of Sinatra in his delivery. Frank was one of the greatest and his range was limited, he did not belt out a song, he was smooth and purposeful. That is how I would look at the way he makes a song come alive on stage. Even when he raises the bar towards the end of “Goldfish Girl” he gets to a certain point, lets it go, then moves to the next phrasing.

The audience interaction is always a key component in any live performance and then if it’s recorded to be released as a live album, even more so. You can tell without being there that Jeff has the attention of his audience and is really enjoying mixing it up with them.

I have to hand it to the supporting band with the way the music is behind Jeff when he sang, it did not drown him out nor did he have to compete with an instrument hitting the needle in the red on VU meter. That is very important for the singer and obviously the person running the mixing board for sound had their act together.

When “True” started it brought back memories of the 80s. What a great tune that is and album. Spandau Ballet was a unique name for a band. I remember I had that album on cassette. The background vocals on this were excellent by Sharon Youngblood. It is was very well done and the musicianship was spot on. So, kudos for covering a classic track with proper representation. It makes me wonder now what it would sound like on vinyl. It takes some wherewithal to cover Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” I was surprised how well it was done.

My favorite track was “So Far,” the only rocker on the entire set. With such a fully capable band I think it would make sense to do more tracks like that. Just my thoughts and opinion of course.

Live At The Mint was team effort and that is why I felt it necessary to list all the contributors. Jeff Fowler is the not kind of artist that is going to rock the house but if you are in the mood for an evening of fun and some easy listening with pop and rock elements you will enjoy his music.

On a side note…Jeff since you are a lawyer how about doing a parody on a fictional court case with members of the circus as your jury and you sing your defense case to them? If anything, it would make a very entertaining video!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
April 29, 2022

Jeff Fowler: vocals, keys
Wes Styles: guitars, music director
Eli Hludzik: drums, percussion
Jesse Stern: bass
Ryan Brown: percussion, glockenspiel
Brad Snow: additional keys, guitars
Dennis Clark, Kitten Kuroi,
Sharon Youngblood: background vocals
Kitten Kuroi: background vocals

01. The “Fowler Vibrations”
02. I’ll Try
03. Intro – Shout out to yogis!
04. Here’s to You
05. Intro – The Englebert-Humperdink jacket move
06. Firefly
07. Goldfish Girl
08. Intro –Mr. Mason Man
09. Mr. Mason Man
10. You Have a Way
11. True
12. Intro
13. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
14. Intro
15. So Far
16. Encore Medley:
Turn It On Again
Is She Really Going Out with Him?
I’d Do Anything for Yo
Encore Medley Genesis, Joe Jackson, Rick Springfield (Live)


Pop/Rock Review: Chris Braide-Fifty Dollar Planets and Twenty Cent Stars

Release Date: May 20, 2014
Label: Braide Productions

With the summer heating up, there is nothing like a pop song to rise the spirits and get the good times rolling.  Chris Braide knows a thing or two about what it takes to make a good pop song.  Currently based out of Los Angeles, this English artist has worked with some of the top names around as a songwriter and a producer.  He has worked with artists such as BeyoncĂ©, Lana Del Ray, Britney Spears, David Guetta, and many others. He was also featured on the soundtrack of the 2013 film version of The Great Gatsby

Fifty Dollar Planets and Twenty Cent Stars is his third solo album and it is a fine piece of work.  It is better than your average pop, and a good chance to get yourself acquainted with this under known artist.  These well produced songs and his soothing vocals will have you wondering how you have never heard of him before.    

Fifty Dollar Planets and Twenty Cent Stars is at its best when songs are light-hearted, laid-back, and playful.  “Fifty Dollar Planets” is not just an example of this, but it is also probably the best song on the album.  This song is the perfect summer jam, with an atmosphere that is just fun.  It is light and catchy song that is hard not to get taken away with.  It is definitely the type of song that could make a run up the charts.  “This Is for the Girl” really hits its stride when the chorus comes around. It is one of the better love themed songs on the album. “Beautiful” is another catchy tune with a light atmosphere. It does not leave an impression on me like the opener, but it is still pretty good. “It’s Not Too Late” is a pretty infectious pop song that showcases the positive attributes of this album.

It is not perfect though, as there are some songs that are just not up to snuff.  “Fascinating” is my least favorite song.  I just find the lyrics to be too repetitive for my liking, which ultimately turns me off to it even though the music is not too bad.  “What Does It Mean” is another love song that is below par. It stands in the background, while the rest of the songs outshine it. The following songs such as “Sophia” and “What’s Going on in Your Head?” do not do much to make you forget about the previous lackluster.

It does end on a positive note.  “Agent Wilde” is another highlight of the album and a great way to end the album.  It embodies everything that has been right.  With its cool beat and laid-back atmosphere, it is the reason there is a “probably” in front of “the best song” for “Fifty Dollar Planets.”

Fifty Dollar Planets and Twenty Cent Stars is one solid pop album. It has its flaws, but it still manages to deliver the goods most of the time.  There is no denying Chris Briade’s talents as a singer and songwriter.  He might not be the most well-known artist out there, but he does know how to make an album that will please pop fans.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Fifty Dollar Planets, It’s Not Too Late, Agent Wilde

01.Fifty Dollar Planets
02.This Is for the Girl
05.Let Me Love You
06.It’s Not Too Late
07.What Does It Mean
09.Take What You Can
10.What’s Going on in Your Head?
11.Agent Wilde

Brian McKinnon

June 19, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music Review