Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

Bill Lloyd

Koch Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: George Agnos


I've said it before and I'll say it again: give me a CD that has catchy melodies amd intelligent lyrics and I am a happy person. That said, Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants, the new release by singer/songwriter Bill Lloyd has made me a very happy person.

Lloyd is mostly known by country music fans as part of the duo Foster and Lloyd, which had a few hits in the late 1980's, but as a solo artist, he writes pop-oriented tunes. His previous CD, Set To Pop, was a wonderful entry to the pop-rock genre, and this new one just might be even better because it has a fuller, more dynamic sound without sacrificing excellent songcraft.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Lloyd wears his Beatles influence on his sleeve, and as a big Beatles fan myself, I knew I'd love any CD that has a song called "Turn Me On Dead Man". (For those unfamiliar with Beatles folklore, that is the phrase you are supposed to hear if you play "Revolution #9" backwards). This song combines a great psychedelic drenched sound with clever wordplay that recalls the pop band Squeeze.

Another Beatlesque song is "Dr. Robert's Second Opinion", a sequel to the Beatles "Dr. Robert" where the title character seems to regret the trouble he had caused all those years ago.There are other more subtle Beatlesque touches elsewhere in the form of guitar riffs, but this is more than just a tribute CD.

"Cool And Gone" has to be my favorite song this year as it is a refreshing take on lost love. Here Lloyd continues his songwriting partnership with David Surface, who together wrote some pretty nifty tunes on Set To Pop.

Other highlights are the rousing title tune, the eccentric butcatchy "Box Of Snakes", and two gorgeous midtempo ballads "So You Won't Have To" and "Years Away From Here". The last three songs are at the end of this collection, giving Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants a second wind that is so rare on any CD.

Lloyd manages to work with some great talent. As on Set To Pop, he collaborates with another pop genius, Marshall Crenshaw, on the melodic winner "Holding Back The Waterfall". Also scattered on the CD are Smithereens drummer Dennis Diken, Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson, and classic rock organist Al Kooper. And if Kim Richey, Amy Rigby, and Greg Trooper aren't exactly giants, they should be as they have all come out some very good CDs in their own right.

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants is a great collection of songs that are immediately appealing, taking the best from the past and creating something inspiring. Pick up this CD and you will be standing...well you know where.

Rating: A

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© 1999 George Agnos and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Koch Records, and is used for informational purposes only.