Sightseeing

Rob Reynolds

Invisible Hands Music, 2006

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/19/2006

Rob Reynolds, a British import, writes basic acoustic rock but blends funk and soul with his expressive, conviction-filled voice. It's not exactly original, but it's miles away from the punk-pop, nu-metal and anemic Coldplay sounds that clog rock radio today, and that makes it worth hearing if you stumble across it (which you may have done; read below for details).

Backing Reynolds and his guitar are Massive Attack drummer Carlos Hercules, Archive bassist Carl Holt and Manic Street Preachers keyboardist Richard Cottle. The quartet is on fire for "Sweet Mother," which examines starvation, and pulls off a Steely Dan-meets-Stevie Wonder mood for "Sherry Man." The former has a particularly tasty funk riff reminiscent of "Superstition."my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Reynolds backs away from this basic sound now and again, as on the string-laden ballad "Change My World" and the mid-90s solo acoustic sound of "Loving Arms." "Bring Me Water" sounds like Matchbox20 but Reynolds sings like a classic rocker, putting everything he has into it and elevating the song. "Upon The River" is in a similar vein; thankfully, the band adds some light strings and echoed backup vocals for an ethereal touch.

"Dream Song" is a fairly confident blend of New Age and classic rock, while "Pressure" is the best song Third Eye Blind never wrote. The disc ends on a sad note with "Don't You Ever Dream," a guitar/piano piece with some soul-searching lyrics by Reynolds ("I'll find my way, to the love I'm finding / Don't you ever dream / Of taking on your sanity, shrugging off your sanctuary").

He may not offer anything totally new, but Rob Reynolds delivers a fine disc anchored by strong, meaningful vocals and a solid, capable band. Worth a spin if you come across it: on that note, this one was released under perhaps the oddest marketing campaign ever. In 2004, the record label sent out 500 samplers from the album that were left in random places -- bus seats, phone booths, pubs, etc. The CD contained a note asking whoever found it to make a copy for themselves and then leave the original somewhere else. Each CD was individually numbered and can be tracked on Rob's Web site, http://www.robreynolds.co.uk. This helped spread the music around the world. Had the music been as creative as the marketing, we may have had a hit.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


Comments









© 2006 Benjamin Ray 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 Invisible Hands Music, and is used for informational purposes only.