Review: Carmen Skyy – I Dream About You

philadelphia-carmen-skyyCarmen Skyy’s Dream is a Reality with New Single “I Dream About You”

 

Score 4/5 Stars

 

Every day new music comes out onto the market. It can either blow our minds or get cast aside. The creative juices of Miami, Florida based singer/songwriter, Carmen Skyy will make you stop in your tracks as you listen to her latest single “I Dream About You.” Her fierceness and attitude bring a new dimension where artists like Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj left off.

 

Going beneath the surface of the song, Carmen’s songwriting talent is stylish and inventive. Pop superstars like Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill and John Mayer have fuelled her passion for creating personal and meaningful music that inspires others day in and day out. Creating a blend of musical flavour with elements of Pop, Hip/Hop, and Electronica, the song is free-flowing and heart pumping all the way. It’s one of those songs that you would hear at any given nightclub and would bring people straight to the dance floor. The sensual rhythms heighten the pleasure of the track, bringing forth that pure sense of eargasm all over again. Adding another rich component, Carmen’s rap skill momentum is right on par and she proves that she can hold her own in clarity, pitch and tone.

 

Drifting into our unconscious, Carmen’s sultry vocals evoke feelings that make you want to smile and her ability to create a song that sticks in our minds so potently solidifies the one thought that Carmen Skyy is truly a dream come true.

 

Get the single “I Dream About You” at Itunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-dream-about-you/id726684520?i=726684650&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

 

Visit Carmen Skyy’s website at: www.carmenskyy.com

 

Janne Zawa

Review comments: jannezawa@gmail.com

Review: Twisted Piglet – Eternity

Twisted PigletURL: http://www.twistedpiglet.com/

(NORWICH, ENGLAND) 3 piece rock band Twisted Piglet will be releasing their upcoming CD “Eternity” in the spring of 2014. Band members are:  Brodie Payne (Guitar, Vocals), Stacey Payne (Keys) and Paul Reeder (Drums).

 

Let me start by saying Twisted Piglet is an amazing band well on their way. They have already received critical acclaim from many prominent music critics from around the globe thus far. Reading from their bio  Twisted Piglet is a pulsating mix of Keyboard, Drums & Guitar mixed with verve and passion who’s songs and energetic performance are sure to leave the audience shouting for more!” They have gigged all over from Norwich to Serbia and along the way they’ve supported some amazing people/bands such as Scouting For Girls, The Hoosiers, Lulu, Rick Astley and Bruce Foxton with From The Jam! In recent times they even represented Norwich at Exitfest Serbia where there was an amazing 250,000 people in attendance.

 

Finally they recently signed to SPECTRA RECORDS. All of this looks like upward mobility to me. “Eternity” comes on like a fireball with “Walk on by” a great opener with an establish groove and stellar pop laden chorus. Track 2 “Brighter on the Other Side’ is my favorite track presents a power rock trio staple meets rock with a lot of power, confidence and defiance. Just when you thought you had this band pegged you are exposed to track 3 “Kings and Queens Heal Me” which has everything the title implies lyrically and just has a strong ring of truth to it. “God I Love You” is another fantastic number that will remind you of Radiohead and combines all past influences, and is by far a foundation love song for the album. Finally they reveals even more on “Run for your Life” and “Kids” Here the let it rip.

 

I like everything about Twisted Piglet. “Eternity” is a good CD. It has power, intrigue, sap, dance songs, rock anthems and emotional power. At the end of the day it shows a lot of depth and promise as these guys attempt to conquer a cult fanbase in the UK. One thing that impressed me is them is they have just enough Modern Alternative Rock exposure  to have an  impact on the (Modest Mouse, Muse, Radiohead) fans and enough pop exposure for the (Oasis, Blunt) fans. This is actually a brilliant move and an amazing balance.

 

Twisted Piglet doesn’t put all their cards on the table right away but perhaps just enough to lure your interest. As the CD moves forward you get more and more impressed with them . Whether it’s by design or by chance the approach is brilliant. “Eternity” can be regarded as a seed skillfully planted by Twisted Piglet” in the hearts of those who have been waiting patiently for them to arrive. .

Score: 9/10 Stars

By Janne Zawa

Review comments: jannezawa@gmail.com

 

Review: Merill Leffmann Christmas Classics

Merrill LeffmannArtist Merrill Leffmann releases New and Old Christmas Classics CD

SOUNDCLOUD: http://soundcloud.com/qawplo1056/

Merrill Leffmann is a vocal teacher who gives singing lessons in Scottsdale, Arizona. She’s also an accomplished singer/songwriter recording artist who plays cabaret and specialty shows around the Phoenix area. Her latest release is a delightful Christmas CD entitled “New and Old Christmas Classics.” This 12-song Christmas CD contains 7 original and 5 cover songs. In her own words:

 

So I selected 7 of my favorite originals – songs I think have staying power, not just for the season I release them, but through the decades.  Having seen who I am, you understand that they are, of course, in many styles.  There’s big band sexy, classic crooner, country, classical, funny bluegrass, and one – perhaps my best from a songwriter’s perspective – that I can’t classify.

 

Each style, each song, expresses something the others could not – a complete moment, like looking into and suddenly experiencing what it is to be inside a snapshot.  Some of the snapshots are silly or laugh-out-loud funny.  Others are of contentment, exuberance, sadness, reverence. It is a time capsule of the holidays.

 

The CD gently creates the classic Cabaret musical environment right away with Track 1 “I Love a Man in Uniform” with its jazzy groove, horns and vocal exuberance from Leffmann. This song benefits well from a powerful generation of musicians with similar interests in classic jazz but varying tastes still appealing to modern contemporary folks. With a sound ranging from Big Band, Saloon Jazz and classic Cabaret, Leffman delivers a unique yet inviting sound that translates well to the listener. Track 2 “Dumped Before Christmas” is another clever yet, alluring track with 50’s style rockabilly guitars and well placed harmonies from Leffmann and company. Leffmann clearly has an impressive vocal skillet extremely compatible to this style of music. Tack 3 “December” brings in Piano and eloquent string movements thus creating a timeless love song that will make you dance; getting you I the mood for Christmas.

 

The first 3 tracks offer the perfect background for a Holiday CD package. Each piece of the 12 set is impressive. While every track on “New and Old Christmas Classics” delivers quality worthy of many listens there are a few things about this CD that stand out. Each song is short and sweet, but Leffmann does a good job at combining classic Christmas covers with her own music. I have many Christmas CD’s where the artist just performs cover songs thus lacking any original material. Brave to Leffman for going the extra mile and writing her own music, and also putting the actual word Christmas on the album. The musicianship is amazing offering much in the way of musical variety and touches.

 

The CD also skillfully combines classic Cabaret Jazz with the Christmas theme. Also present are Rockabilly, Folk, Earthy acoustics and pop. Finally the amazing vocal touches from Leffman just brings the whole thing together via her fun and whimsical charm. CD ends on a impassioned note with an impressive acoustic remake of “Silent Night.”

 

Criticism: Track 6 “You’re a mean one Mr’ Grinch” contains a few awkward at best moments where Leffmann is narrating with an accent. Bringing in a male baritone for this vocal accompaniment. would have been perfect. Track 7 “ Every Year” is a winded track overall. CD cover art seems a bit off kilter to me.

 

Top Tracks: I’ve Got my Love to Keep me Warm, Dumped Before Christmas, I Love a Man in Uniform, Silent Night

 

“New and Old Christmas Classics” by Merrill Leffmann truly showcases a some incredible moments that portray true emotion and will evoke a strong reaction and cause you to feel something powerful this Christmas. The keys and notes fall smoothly with every second that passes by and it is as if these notes and words were meant for each other. The acoustic and slow rhythmic pace of all tracks really show of the softer side of Christmas as well.  Leffman possesses an immense amount of talent and creativity here. “New and Old Christmas Classics” by Merrill Leffmann is a melodic sultry CD with upbeat and festive undertones making for a great Christmas experience all around.

Score 4.5/5

 

Merrill Leffmann URL: www.mlvoice.com

 

Check out her KICKSTARTER video –

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/694288829/merrill-leffmanns-new-christmas-cd?ref=live

 

Gwen Waggoner edited by J.J. McCall

Review comments: johnmccall964@gmail.com

 

Review: Arjun drops Space EP

ArjunURL: arjunmusic.com

TWITTER: twitter.com/arjunmusic

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/ARJUNmusiclive

 

Most would agree most popular artists out there have something truly special to give to their fans. This goes above the typical attributes like raw talent, amazing songs, nice voice, or even a very marketable look, sound and image. There’s something truly infectious at the core of these artists that simply makes us feel good when we listen to them. Whatever “it” is – they all seem to have “it”.

 

Today I spun the latest EP release from New York based 3 piece alt-rock band Arjun who just released their latest EP entitled: “Space“ in 2013. Venturing to their website I get the impression this is one band extremely determined, dedicated and passionate about the songwriting craft and being in a no holds barred Progressive Rock band. From start to finish “ Space”  delivers 5 mind blowing tracks and delivers a rather suspenseful musical exuberance overall. It pushes hard and has an aggressive Alternative Rock quality to it, and even dabbles in Hard Rock and World Fusion Rock.  It also reminds me of Brendon Urie, The Young Veins, The Academy is, and Metro Station – without vocals. Call me crazy but I can even hear Tool, Perfect Circle and King Crimson as well.

 

Any fans of any of these musical styles or bands will enjoy this latest release. It’s clearly marketed for those who like a musical front and playing that never let’s down its guard. I get the impression these guys: are letting it all hang out. In other words they hit the mark remarkably well by just by being who they are musically. Favorite tracks include (Orion) (Galaxies) and (Radio Star). All songs strike the perfect balance between rock, alternative rock and tripped out Fusion. The songwriting is impressive and digs a bit deeper than the next independent band. Within each one of these pieces, Arjun capture something special as they bare their soul and deliver what I would call pure musical mojo. It offers much in the way of passion and compelling-thought provoking playing  I know this may sound crazy but the music of Arjun talks with no words or singing attached. The playing from all members is spot on and just makes the whole EP even more enjoyable.

 

The playing abilities and passion from these 3 are truly to die for. For me, drums and guitar really stand out. The overall vibe of the production is very unpredictable, progressive, and dark with brief pockets of hope shining through. I see Arjun as a diamond in the rough, with an amazing amount of potential. As time goes by we will no doubt hear more from them. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear their music on the Radio someday or even in a popular Video Game, Reality TV Show or headlining say the Warp Tour.  In closing most famous artists out there have “it” I’m not so sure what it but Arjun have whatever “it” may be.

 

 

Final Score: 8.5/10 Stars

Michael Morrison edited by Michael Rand
West Lothian, Scotland (UK)

 

Review comments: therandbrand@gmail.com

 

Review: Layers and Frames – Infinite Release

Layers and FramesLayers and Frames

Infinite Release (EP)

 

This is such a complex, amazing and dramatic album what else can I say in the end? The Infinite Release by Layers and Frames (Frederic Brewer) is more than amazing and dramatic, it’s also extremely suspenseful and somewhat comical. It has a very quirky-dark quality to it as well The intro track “Crossing” gives you the impression as if you were in some noir, Hitchcockeran movie. The really dark, yet emotional charged synth leaves you breathless.

The music reminiscent of acts such as Julianna Barwick, Ben Frost and Oneohthrix. Layers and Frames  has a  really strong tonality foundation coupled with unusual rhythms, hypnotic piano and spaced out goodness. The vocals from Brewer are interesting. If these tracks were more rocked out I could hear Primus, Gorillaz or even The Bloodhound Gang performing them. That’s how crazy they are. Without a doubt, it’s impossible to deny the superiority of this band consisting of Brewer.  It’s epically, quirky and you got this feeling as if you are in a funny nightmare. The drums and the bass lines just help push the album forward, and the vibe, if you pay attention carefully, has a really odd, mysterious, X-File sort of vibe.

As the EP evolves it showcases some dramatic combinations or Jazz like guitar and Electonica overtones on tracks like “Lovely Seeds” and “Take Control” The piano/vocal combos has an important role on some pieces as well.  On many this tracks as a producer Brewer is clearly in charge of giving the mood assigned to each song. The addition of the ambient tidbits every now and then gives many song a jazzy yet ambient/eletronica touch.

My favorite track is “by far Take Control.” In conclusion, here’s an EP release I’ve been dying to get my hands on for a while. I was just unable to stumble across him until today. It’s also very subliminal, and a grand concept that’s sure to get many peoples attention. From the production level, to the musicianship involved, Infinite Release by Layers and Frames delivers in grand fashion.  Let’s also give credit to the evil genius behind all this shall we? With the advent of Frederic Brewer’s superlative signature sound via his trademark moniker (Layer and Frames) everything here works terrifically well. It will keep you in a state of wonder from start to finish. Recording Artist, Writer, Producer, Performer—Frederic Brewer. Bravo, I say!

 

Rating 8/10 Stars

 

Primary URL: http://www.layersandframes.com/

 

Written by Christopher Eaton. Edited by Heather Savage

Review comments: heathersavage5@gmail.com

 

Review: Green Corn Revival – Bound for Glory

Green Corn RevivalSmall town Okies are bound for glory on their new album of cow-punk and indie rock anthems.

 

Bound For Glory, the new album by Green Corn Revival is a little bit of everything for everyone. What it lacks in focus it more than makes up for in anthemic singalongs and diverse melodies. The opening track Pyre In The Blood grabs the listener in at once with its dramatic melody and reminds me of the great band Muse, before they dabbled with electro music. So just when I thought I had them pegged the band starts rockin’ with I’m Alive, a dirty country rock number that is as much indie as it is country.

 

Next up is Hall Of Mirrors which is a bit more of a traditional cow-punk sound, the genre best suited for Green Corn Revival. The vocals have a 50’s pop sound. Give Me Liberty reminds me a little bit of The Wallflowers, sort of bar-band sound. Catchy, with a soulful background keyboard.

 

Hard Timin’ Monopolizin’ Blues is a major sing along type of tune that has some great harmonies. A cool country blues solo near the end solidifies the track. Half Life has a pop rock vibe with its oh oh oh’s and big vocals, it’s also one of the more upbeat songs, think a countrified Blink 182.

 

Original Sin/The Truth starts out with a distorted traditional blues riff and then turns into a sort of doo wop 50’s tune before jumping into psychedelic territory. This strange song has its charm but seems disjointed, trying to cram too many ideas into a single song, I felt as if I were listening to 3 very different songs at once.

 

Long Dark Train smartly resumes the fast paced rock vibe they had established early on. Hoorah At The Hi De Ho is lowdown classic cow-punk with a killer vocal harmony. This is one that is sure to please in a live setting.

 

The title track Bound For Glory is a moody blues slowburn, its simplicity is it’s strength, relying almost solely on the soulful vocal performance. Endless Sky ends the record on an optimistic vibe, reminding me somehow of Bright Eyes but with more soulfulness.

 

Overall Bound For Glory is a great drive through the peaks and valleys of small town American life, and I’m glad I stuck my thumb out and hitched a ride.

 

Posted by Jennifer Dempsey edited by Michael Rand

Review comments: therandbeand@gmail.com