Some people like to associate a certain style with a certain artist. That would be easy to do about me after listening to my last album, the bluesy Waiting for My Train. In contrast, this new album of 19 songs has lots of different styles – rock, country, folk rock, lounge, punk, and even hip hop. That’s why I call it Eclectica. It’s a reflection of how much I love diverse music and like writing in different styles. I hope you listen to these tunes with open mind and ear. Without sounding too presumptuous, please think of Eclectica like the Beatles’ White Album, all over the place in style but each song fun in its own distinctive way.
So, what’s on the album? Hideaway and Floating are dreamy introspective songs with enigmatic lyrics. What Can I Do to Be Your Friend is a bright pop rock tune with a critical message about what social media is doing to us, from a kid’s perspective. Spin the World Around is another upbeat pop rock tune with a happy message. In contrast, The Valley is an intense antiwar anthem about how war can dehumanize good people. Better Start Respecting Me is an admonishment wrapped in 3 minutes of doo wop, acoustic folk and punk rock. Race to the Bottom is pure punk Neverending Hi Five is goofy hip hop. Find Yourself A Better Man and Wild and Rambling Ways are country rock, with classic country themes about relationships gone wrong, hard living, and making up for bad choices. Leave it to the Night is 80’s-style romantic pop rock about keeping relationships alive in the face of life’s typical struggles. Gonna Give it to You Straight is a dramatic love-lost song. Love in the Air Tonight is R&B sung by Andre Morgan about how infatuation can feel like a fun game. Mr. Scream rocks with the desperation of a stressed-out guy who looks to Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream as inspiration for how to cope with his stress. Listen for the calm interlude in the middle. Everyone’s Happy on My TV is a satirical rocker about a guy who wishes his life was as simple and happy as the people he sees in TV commercials. Sidney is music hall-style pop rock about a socially awkward musician who, for unanticipated reasons, ends up in a sanctuary where all he has to do is to play music with other equally-obsessed musicians for the rest of his life. The Sun’s Still Shining on Me is a torchy romantic song about appreciating life when it deserves to be appreciated. I also recorded this tune with my band Outer Half a few years ago. This version features Bernadette Conant on vocals. The album ends with my most recent song, Old Time Melody, a retro jazz lounge tune about stepping peacefully into old age.
Many thanks to Doug Marks, Richard Huebner, Marcus Barone, Bernadette Conant, and Andre Morgan for their contributions to the album. Doug plays drums on Floating, The Valley, Everyone’s Happy on My TV., Mr. Scream, and Sidney. Richard plays keyboards on Sidney. Marcus produced The Lane Meant for Me, Hideaway, Love in the Air Tonight, and The Sun’s Still Shining on Me.
WHERE YOU CAN LISTEN TO IT:
You can stream Eclectica on Spotify. It’s also available for streaming, purchasing, or downloading on Apple ITunes, iHeart Radio, Deezer, the CD Baby Store, Napster, Amazon Music, Google Music Store, Pandora, and TikTok, among others.
I’ve made music videos for some of the songs. The first two are now on YouTube, in my channel. I chose to post two that are very different. If you’re in the mood for a happy rock anthem, watch the video for Spin the World Around. If however you’d rather hear a melancholy ballad, there’s Hideaway. Spin features my son on his mountain bike, and a spinning cameo by my dog Scooter.
You can also on YouTube listen to all the album songs with the album cover as the visual. In the next several weeks, I’ll be posting some more music videos from the album, one per week.