Exclusive Review: Juan Carlos Martinez – “Acorralado” Album/LP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Cover Art of Juan Carlos Martinez’ album “Acorralado”

Not many artists can capture a signature sound quite like veteran Spanish multi-instrumentalist/composer, singer and producer, Juan Carlos Martinez. Integrating an explosive and wholesome style that combines many key elements of Blues, Ska, POP, Rock and textures of Soul, Juan Carlos Martinez comes out swinging with his ten-track juggernaut ‘Acorralado’ and proves that his versatility is untouchable.

Composed diligently with multi-layers of tastefully blended synths, keys and a brilliant horn section, ‘Acorralado’ is a rollercoaster ride of anthemic tunes that all stand out on their own. It’s a rare gem where you don’t ever feel the need to skip over any tracks and really entices you to notice the attentiveness to detail. The sirens go off in opening title track ”Acorralado” with an excellent buildup into an upbeat rhythm section that drives the song forward and showcases what’s to come for the rest of the album. Juan Carlos Martinez‘ well crafted vocals are complimented with on-point harmonies and vocal melody choices that are effective, clean and dynamically projected.

This album’s versatility and diversity is endless, but you can tell it’s coming from the same artist. “Que Sentimiento” is a very progressive song with haunting keyboard parts and intricate guitar textures that really puts an atmospheric twist to the record in very innovative ways. While “Nada Es Mejor” is more funky, witty and upbeat throughout each distinguished measure. Each track of this album showcases a different angle of Juan Carlos Martinez‘ artistic merit and he really takes each approach up to its highest potential. This is a record that literally has something for everyone on it, and the musicianship factors and production value completely speaks for itself with its top-of-the-line quality. This is an album you’ll be bragging about to your friends, and definitely a record for musicians to analyze and adore.

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Exclusive Review: Freddie Bourne – “The Troubled Boy At The Bonfire Disco” EP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Cover Art of Freddie Bourne’s New EP

When it comes to versatility, next level production value and attentiveness to detail, Freddie Bourne‘s EP “The Troubled Boy At The Bonfire Disco” really raises the bar and brings a huge, wholesome sound to the table. It’s his fifth studio release and features four larger than life tracks that explore many facets of Freddie‘s talent, and is the farthest thing from a disappointment.

Self proclaimed as “Conscious House-Pop”, Freddie‘s EP, produced by Stephen Horning of Dirty Dogg Productions, gives great nostalgic callbacks to the 90s and early-2000s era with his electronically infused Pop/Indie Rock sensibilities topped with House Music textures and exceptional song structures. Starting off with the opener “I Hope You Don’t Forgive Me”, we get a great acoustically-led guitar progression that builds up to something much more climactic and anthemic as the song plays on. Freddie‘s mid-to-high range vocals are strong, effective and presents this song’s chorus with absolute conviction. The Pop razor edge really works here and could easily be heard as a chart topper among many other artists of a similar caliber. The standout of this EP is definitely “Jeni”, a song with beautiful electronic and guitar textures, solid rhythmic structure and story-telling lyrics that really bring Freddie‘s songwriting ability to the forefront. This song is very busy, but not convoluted in the least; everything fits in its proper place. The 3-4 part harmonies in this chorus are very notable and big, and really encapsulates Freddie‘s precision as a vocalist. This track also has that classic 90s Alt/Rock feel reminiscent to REM, Goo Goo Dolls and Coldplay.

“Pale Blue Sky” (feat. E. King) and “Spacedust” (also co-written by producer Stephen Horning) are very ambient songs with innovative synth additives and bassy layers that drive both tracks into multifaceted territories. Freddie‘s vocals continue to shine and really showcase his ability to choose his vocal melodies wisely. His strength and projection really gives his vocal textures a wide array of techniques for both songs and really solidifies this EP’s signature sound. All four tracks of this record are diversely different, but you can still tell it’s coming from the same artist. Each song is carefully crafted, handled with absolute care and really paves the way for other artists that hone similar styles. “The Troubled Boy…” is a must-listen by all accounts and you will definitely be enticed to dig further into Freddie Bourne‘s career and discography. You can currently grab a copy of this EP on Spotify, Apple Music and other digital music streaming platforms. You’ll be more than glad that you did.

© Artist Reach, LLC | ASCAP | All Rights Reserved

Exclusive Review: American Scream – “Sink” EP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Cover Art of American Scream’s debut EP

Bursting onto the music scene last year with an insatiably versatile and unique signature sound, North Carolina quartet American Scream have been hitting the ground running pretty much since the minute they solidified their formation. Tastefully blending diligent flavors of electronically-infused Synth Pop and Rock elements, the band has proven with their debut EP ‘Sink’ that original ideas are still out there and the fun nature of creating music still thrives strongly if you’re willing to pay attention – and this record is definitely an attention-grabber.

This 7-track juggernaut starts off with a solid intro track then leads right into their anchor single off this record, “Hypocrite”. Accompanied by a thematically fun music video, this song has an arsenal of catchy melody choices with distinctive vocal harmonies and ambient keyboard progressions that really drive this song into many creative directions. The lead vocals are astoundingly effective and really showcases this band’s artistic merit both collectively and individually through each member.

“Club Noises” is an absolute standout with dynamically crafty lyrics that not only resonate with the listener, but cleverly executes the message that the song conveys and makes several excellent uses out of social media references. This track also has a great genre-bending structure that combines Djent-y breakdowns and Synth-y progressions. This song definitely turns the heat up and really encompasses the energy this band brings to the table. The track “Iceberg” is a more subtle song that really delves deep into the band’s core and centerpiece. With anthemic tones and heartfelt lyrics that continue to demonstrate the band’s detail-oriented songwriting ability, this track brings forth another multifaceted angle that puts American Scream on a high pedestal, far above the run-of-the-mill contemporary artist.

American Scream Press photo

The darker and anthem-worthy closing songs “Funeral” and “The Darkness” are amazingly composed and really hone in on each member’s contributing factors to this EP. The collective musicianship qualities really spill out by the time you reach the end of this record and it really demonstrates just how much versatility this band really encapsulates. The chemistry is very apparent and the innovative techniques this record showcases really blows your mind especially after realizing that this is a debut EP from a band that formed only a year ago. It gets you morbidly curious to hear what this band has in store for their sophomore release, and really raises the bar far higher than American Scream probably realizes. ‘Sink’ is an absolute must-listen for 2020 and will likely be noted as one of the best releases of this year altogether. You can find this EP on Spotify, YouTube and other digital music streaming platforms. You’ll be more than glad that you did.

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Exclusive Review: Shaun Mykal Walker – “Baring My Soul” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Intro and still shot of Shaun Mykal Walker’s Music Video for “Baring My Soul”

Rarely does a song ever have the type of staying power like multi-instrumentalist Shaun Mykal Walker‘s “Baring My Soul”. This insatiably eclectic anthem not only bares Walker‘s soul, but his vast array of musical talent as well.

A song that tells a story of adjusting to a new (way of) life and feeling like you don’t belong, “Baring My Soul” (accompanied by a dynamically cinematic music video) was written through Walker‘s perspective of struggles when he moved from Australia to San Diego, finding difficulty in acquiring connections in a new city while starting over. Utilizing a signature sound that is reminiscent of chart-toppers like Bruno Mars, Prince and Maroon 5, this brilliantly upbeat Alt/Rock song, written and performed by Walker, is contagiously catchy with strong melody choices, crafty riffs and a smooth rhythm section that is topped off with amazing vocal work. His mid-to-high vocal range is apparent and coherent throughout the track with dynamically effective lyrics that showcase Walker‘s many angles of melody placements, which really sets a tone for this song’s diligent genre blending and structural pacing.

With a powerful chorus that is unlikely to leave your head anytime soon, this song’s tightly knit structure is what makes it the gem that it really is. From smooth transitions, perfectly shaped guitar tones and a multifaceted final mix that displays top notch production value, “Baring My Soul” is an extraordinarily catchy track with an endless list of effective musicianship factors. It’s the type of song that brings Shaun Mykal Walker‘s talent to the forefront and really delivers a style that touches on balance and composure to make sure the song is a standout of its kind. You can currently find the single on Apple Music, Spotify and other digital music streaming platforms. The official music video for the song can be found on YouTube. You’ll become an instant fan from the very first listen.

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Exclusive Review: Norquay – “In Time” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Cover Art of Norquay’s single “In Time”

Exploring the trials and tribulations of social issues, political fallacies and the consequences of societal downfalls, Norquay‘s single “In Time” is a thought provoking anthem that touches on many focal points of why our nations are collapsing, how we’ve come to this, and the desire to become better people so we can do our part in healing the damage that’s already been done. This powerful message is not only pivotal, but also relevant as ever.

With a solid acoustic guitar progression at the helm of this track’s structure, Norquay‘s melodically Indie Rock signature sound is full of ambient textures and atmospheric resonance. His low-to-mid range vocals are crucial when it comes to effectiveness, lending a stylization that parallels beautifully with the story-telling verses and unrelenting chorus. With a sound reminiscent to industry greats like Coldplay, Muse and a touch of David Bowie, Norquay successfully blends an atmosphere of dreamlike musical sequences and next level lyrical outbursts that give this song a high pedestal to stand on, and a loud message to send across the soundscapes between himself as an artist and the world at large.

Each measure after every chorus adds to a buildup that encompasses a terrific payoff. The production value has been handled with care and the performance value is natural and showcases Norquay‘s artistic merit perfectly. It’s rare that a song of such importance comes along in a way that is truly profound. It asks many questions that many others may be too afraid to ask, let alone answer. And that’s why this song hits home and dives deep into your soul the way that it does. “In Time” is a must-listen for all those out there looking for something reflective, deep, and all too real. It’s currently available on Spotify, Apple Music, and other digital music streaming platforms.

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