first album review

or, why i should selll of my equipment

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When the harmonica-swept, choppily-sung “Crazy Little Bird” opens Distractions, it seems that this Georgia native’s Blues Traveler-inspired effort is dropped in the name of a jam-band-revivalist movement. And when “Charlie Felt”, which seems like something that could have been featured in a throwback rock ‘n’ roll flick (i.e. Footloose or Cry Baby), commences, the album feels like an anachronism, recalling musical movements and films best forgotten. Fortunately, Dover changes his modus operandi as the album proceeds. Each track sounds like a communal effort, but unlike jam-oriented bands, Dover veers away from improv and opts for tight production – so tight, in fact, that each song centers on repeated lyrics and guitar phrases and runs less than three minutes (except the epic three-and-a-half minute “Impossible”). In fact, “Impossible” is the only track in which repetition makes way for a beautiful blues-rock ballad that fades out as subtly as the harmonica bed that supports it.

As for Dover’s instrumental acoustic pieces, they’re the album’s most interesting material: in “Interlude One”, every chord slides into the next with a bluesy bent, and “Interlude Two” is so aggressively plucked, it could have been culled from Nashville Skyline. The album ends on a high note with “Cheap Mexican Guitar” a quirky south-of-the-border tune in which Dover makes it clear that he’s neither a jam-band act nor a throwback to hook-filled, freewheeling '50s rock. However, based on the EP’s modest 16 minutes of music, Dover wants us to pay attention to every song, and it’s not always clear which side of the fence between Kevin Bacon and Bob Dylan he’s on.

:(

isaac

Don’t worry too much Isaac.

Not sure this reviewer can play like Adrian Belew, write melodies like McCartney, or write lyrics like Dylan. (or that he even has the marginal talent/creativity of Celine Dion).

dave

Allow me to paraphrase a bit for you:

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. …Each track sounds like a communal effort. but unlike jam-oriented bands, Dover veers away from improv and opts for tight production… …a beautiful blues-rock ballad that fades out as subtly as the harmonica bed that supports it…

…in “Interlude One”, every chord slides into the next with a bluesy bent, and “Interlude Two” is so aggressively plucked, it could have been culled from Nashville Skyline. The album ends on a high note with “Cheap Mexican Guitar” a quirky south-of-the-border tune in which Dover makes it clear that he’s neither a jam-band act nor a throwback to hook-filled, freewheeling '50s rock…



There ya go.
:;):


Concentrate on the good stuff for encouragment to continue, and use the bad stuff to learn from. I know it’s a blow to the ego when someone talks bad about one’s opus, but the best thing you can do right now is to keep on making music.

:cool:

Sorry Isaac, but you’re gonna need a much larger sampling of reviews before you are allowed to worry. :D

But why even worry about the “bad” unless you’re just trying to satisfy the tastes of the reviewer? It’s more understandable with people whose opinions you really trust and value, but who is this reviewer? Even if popularity was your goal, reviewers’ opinions quite often don’t align with general opinion and sales.

Reviewers review–that’s just what they do, so just stay focused on keeping it true.

Yeah, I made that up :p

Tony

Excellent, John.

BTW, I still play and love your CD. Thanks again.

dave

thanks guys… but i feel like someone is preparing to quip, “celine dione called, she wants her talent back”…

isaac

Remember Isaac… the only opinion that REALLY counts is mine. Uh… er… I mean YOURS! :D

Hang in there!

TG

the reviewer was probably one of mike’s friends!.. :laugh:

isaac

Don’t feel bad bro,
Here’s a story of how a famous bands got it’s name to cheer you up!

A progressive, bluesy sounding band had just finished cutting their first LP. Only one problem, they didn’t have a name.
They shopped the songs around to various labels, and received a couple of reveiws as well…but without a name it seemed they would never be known.
Then one of the reveiwers told a record A&R man what he thought of their new sound, “Man, they are going to go down, like a led zepellin!”
Boy, was he ever wrong!

I have found over the years, that I learn alot from bad reveiws. Heck before I received a bad reveiw I didn’t even know what a bridge was, semi-chorus, hook, ect. So finding out my music was mundane to listen to; opened up a huge avenue of experimentation to add more interesting changes, switchin’ tempos, keys ect. The ending result was —BETTER SONGS!
At least he said your production was tight, that’s great start IMHO.

keep shinin’

jerm

Actually, given the function of reviewers in all this, that strikes me as a very good review. It’s not like any review in the entire history of musical criticism has ever been objective and free from the effects of reader-driven content. Ever read any Karl Hanslick? You might enjoy his stuff. :)

Anyway, reviews are never about the music they are about the author’s stroking the reader’s perception (usually false) of the reader’s identity.

sass

Quote (dave @ July 22 2005,16:10)
Excellent, John.

BTW, I still play and love your CD. Thanks again.

dave

Thanks Dave...

That CD got mixed reviews.

Stinker #1 (search the page for "Barton")

Stinker #2 (search the page for "Barton")

Good review

Keep your chin up IDOVER!
:cool:

mrs soul?!.. huh?!.. ???

honestly, no, i didn’t consider it a good review… this is my first effort at anything resembling an album, and the first real review… but, i’m certainly not going to shoot myself over it… in, fact, i’ve felt more inspired lately and can’t stop getting ideas out of my head…

the crazy thing about this album, is that it seems to be most popular with the younger crowd… i’ve received emails from people who downloaded it… none of them negative, but oddly, they thank me and tell me that their kids love it… i certainly don’t mind this, but it strikes me strangely… i certainly never intended for a “kid” to even hear it, much less like it…

but then again, maybe i’ve hit on something without knowing… i hear that the children’s music market is growing rather rapidly… if i just keep writing these silly little tunes, maybe i can actually sell some!..

i’m the next wiggles!.. :D

hey now, mrs soul!!! that “geek photograph” just happens to be my least favorite!.. :D… and probably the only one i have!.. i attempted at a marketing scheme, and some folks have even commented about it… the web site, photos, business cards, and album cover all have the same design theme… all done by yours truly… but yeah, my girlfriend has another picture that would probably be better, at least it doesn’t show my crooked teeth… :)

thanks, guys… i hope this will prompt some others to post some reviews if you have 'em…

isaac

Isaac,
I dunno…it’s a typical review in my opinion. Full of crap.

I dig your stuff. Period.

Later,
C

thanks, john for sharing!.. and it gave me the idea of posting links to review sites that others may not know… in fact, i wasn’t familiar with those you posted at all…

my review is from http://www.splendidezine.com… but, i’d be careful about sending them anything right now… it took me about five months to get a review, they are absolutely swamped… i sent a very short thank-you email to the reviewer after reading it… they are not paid folks and i really do appreciate their time…

so far:
SplendidEzine
Smother.Net
IMPACT Press
Love Labor Music (EDIT: currently not accepting new material)

any others?.. just copy the list above and keep adding!..

thanks,
isaac

Quote (clark_griswold @ July 22 2005,20:26)
Isaac,
I dunno...it's a typical review in my opinion. Full of crap.

I dig your stuff. Period.

Later,
C

thanks, c... but, do your kids like it!... :D...

isaac

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i’m the next wiggles!..


Well, they’re a remarkable group. They used to be a moderately successful pub rock band here in Oz (couple of top 40 singles ect), and last year were the highest earning entertainers in Australia, more than Nicole Kidman, ACDC, Kylie. All the stuff they do is based around childhood learning theory, as they met at Uni. The “wake up jeff” bit comes from Jeff not actually being good at talking to kids, so thats how they get around it.

Willy.
Quote (jeremysdemo @ July 22 2005,18:00)
Then one of the reveiwers told a record A&R man what he thought of their new sound, "Man, they are going to go down, like a led zepellin!"
Boy, was he ever wrong!

Hey Jerm
I always heard that after the Yardbirds broke up, jimmy page was left with a bunch of dates to fill. He scrounged around and found robert,john paul & bonham, toured as the New Yardbirds at which time Keith Moon told Jimmy that they were going to go over like a led zepplin. Who knows?
Anyway, sorry for the rag Isaac. If you believe in your music and yourself then you find the good points of a review and chalk the rest up to experience :) I can't tell you how many times people leave our shows because we don't play any radio tunes.
Here's a :D story....
We were playing an outdoor show that was mainly bluegrass and oldtime. We walk on stage with our git tars & amplifiers, drum kit & the whole works. You would think someone had yelled FIRE, the place cleared in droves, at which time my soft spoken bandmate got up to the mic and yelled out "YEAAAHHH you better f***in run. I nearly pissed myself with laughter. Hope the dimented story cheers you a little :D

Critics are like arseholes Isaac, everybody’s got…, no wait a sec, Critics are arseholes.
Hold yer head up dude, and keep playing! :D