Billy Grima – Sugar & Cream
Billy Grima, originally from Blacktown, Australia, is an exceptional singer/songwriter who currently hails from the Caledon Hills of Ontario, Canada. Billy started writing music when he was quite young, and his songwriting is inspired by the daily events in the same vein as classic singer/songwriters such as Bob Dylan and James Taylor. For his latest album, “Sugar & Cream,” Billy teamed up with producer & engineer Pete Swan of Attitude Productions Studio in Ontario to create a top-notch collection of music. “Sugar & Cream” is an exciting album to listen to. Billy grabs your attention right away and keeps you transfixed for the duration with a rich voice that seems to soar.
The album starts off strong with “Pleasure to Have Met You,” which has a classic John Cafferty sort of feel almost reminiscent of “Eddie & the Cruisers.” Some amazing vocal work on the second song, “Calendar Girl,” sounds a bit like a hybrid between Billy Joel and Queen; not a pairing I would have thought quite possible. Some of my favorite songs on the album such as “Miss You Baby,” “Picture of You and Me,” and “There With You” are slower, mellower numbers featuring some tasteful piano with nice touches of guitar. Billy’s vocal performances on these tunes remind me quite a bit of Jack Johnson stylistically.
Billy’s musical range is quite extensive. From hints of Jim Croce on “You Mean the World to Me” to some very nice horn section work on the title track “Sugar & Cream,” and even some Boston-esque harmony guitars on “Living the Dream,” Billy Grima offers up a veritable exhibition of classic-inspired music that will stand the test of time.
My only critique would be that while there are some occasional mellow valleys on the album, for the most part Billy performs with a pretty high peak intensity. A bit more dynamic variety on some of his harder hitting songs would go a long way to make his already exceptional musical style a stellar one.
– Bob Lien