Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Travis Garland's Fashionably Late EP Track-by-Track Review

Travis Garland released his latest EP Fashionably Late Monday October 22nd 2012, and this is my track-by-track review of it.  Overall, Fashionably Late emulates an 80s R&B sound, which works well with Travis’s crooning falsetto that will give girls chills.  It’s a sexy EP with Travis not shy to allude to making love with a girl with his lyrics and the utilization of his talented voice.  Something unique that I noticed is that each song shows Travis as a three-dimensional and diverse artist that can do it all and doesn’t have to be categorized in just one genre of music.

"Fall in Lust"
Within seconds of hearing the song, I instantly thought of it sounding like a Michael Jackson song - not a specific one but emulated MJ's kind of sound.  The combination of the melodic beats in the background and the vocal harmony blends at the chorus contribute to the sound of an MJ tune, and I dig it.  Obviously from the title, the song is about sex and lust, and this boy doesn't love and just wants to satisfy his sexual needs.  So who wants to have that job?

"Abby Lee"
This song has more of a gospel sound to it with organic chords and the theme of religion.  In addressing the girl, Abby Lee, Travis preaches and asks God for forgiveness for having sinful thoughts about her, and she makes him believe.  His serenading invites her to have her way with him (i.e. his sinful thoughts) with temptations that "feel good."  The song also showcases proof of his vocal worth - just listen to his gospel descants at the last chorus (which remind me of live performances by Brendon Urie) and you are guaranteed to have feels for him.

"Didn't Stand a Chance"
This one was probably my favorite off the entire EP.  It's an acoustic R&B song that really shows off his crooning voice, which, in my opinion, is his selling point.  When listening to this song, I imagine a music video of him singing at a beach house porch in Hawaii at sunset, or maybe this song could be featured in a romantic comedy or something because it follows more of a traditional love song framework, which strays away from his previous two songs about sinful and lustful love.

"Feel" (feat. Three McDaniel)
The last track of the EP takes on a techno sound with the beat dropping in the background, and I'll admit that it kind of reminds me of something that Justin Bieber would produce.  Even though I'm not a fan of the Biebs, I still like Travis's song mainly because it really, really shows off his vocal range.  He uses more of his pop chest voice as opposed to his falsetto crooning that builds intensity at the chorus with a crazy melody. If you're not convinced by now that this boy is talented, this is the song to listen to.  

You can download Fashionably Late for free from his Tumblr site, or you can listen to the songs individually on his YouTube page.  Either way, it's four songs, so take some time to listen to it.  You won't regret it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Close to Home

It's been awhile since I've made a post like this.  Band number twenty-six of Siri's "Bands to Listen to" list: Close to Home.  I heard about these Cincinnati guys from the promotion of We Came As Romans - they toured together during Scream It Like You Mean It.  I trust the taste of the We Came As Romans guys, so I decided to add Close to Home to my list.  Let's see what we got.

Two of the three songs I listened to had a different sound from their most recent song, "Backstabbers Need Not Apply," and I honestly think they will be in better shape if they stick to "Backstabbers" sound.  The sound is much heavier and they keep the rocking momentum going, and it's easy for them to rock your ears with the up-tempo bass drum.  The latest album that they have on iTunes is Momentum, which has been out since July 31st 2012, and if the sound resembles more of "Backstabbers," then it should rock.

One of the things I really like about Close to Home is the vocal work.  I enjoy the somewhat raspy clean vocals which add a rugged aspect to their sound.  In the earlier songs, the unclean vocals aren't as prevalent, so to me the music loses its heaviness and the clean vocals seem more relaxed, which isn't as engaging as I'd like.

The music overall is listening goodness, but I'm not sure if I can picture them on stage, which is a big factor to me since I love going to live shows, except for the breakdown parts because those are the easiest to envision.  Right now they have no tours or shows planned, so we shall wait until they come back around!