Don Quixote

Mayday Radio

Independent release, 2012

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


In the tradition of rock and folk singers with something to say about society sits Jeff Ting, singer/songwriter for Mayday Radio. The band’s third release, Don Quixote, finds Ting commenting this time around on insider politics, the lack of clean water in third world countries, and the need for everyone to get involved to fix our global problems.

These positive messages are buried somewhat in Mayday Radio’s underwhelming songwriting and the occasional clunky, simplistic lyrics, which try to be obvious in their attempts to rally people. Case in point is “Insiders & Outsiders,” which decries the lobbyists and corporate billionaires who truly influence politics; it’s a valid subject to be angry about, but the lyrics “This conflict of interest is fucking crazy” and “We are the outsiders / Fuck the insiders” sound like a 14 year old scrawling in his notebook during freshman comp. Same goes for “The status quo, we must refuse…Cuz what the hell we got to lose?” from the closing “The World Is What We Make.”my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

That is actually the worst of the lyrics here; Ting, for the most part, is a better writer than that, as evidenced by the sincere acoustic ballad “Apology,” the emotional duet “The Veil,” and the simple piano-led “Ockham’s Razor,” which is as good a post-breakup song as any written in the last decade, featuring the lyrics “Find some validation for your soul / But don’t go chasing fading afterglows.”

The best song is “Confide,” an intense piece with the words sounding as if they are being sung in an adjacent stairwell, forcing you to pay attention, before segueing into the chorus. The song – actually, the whole album – is wonderfully produced and doesn’t sound like any one or two artists, though it draws on bands like Coldplay, late period Pearl Jam and even strains of folk music (such as on “Wine To Water”).

But most of the nine songs don’t stay in your head musically, nor will you be rushing to push the repeat button, which is a shame. Ting’s passion and skill is undeniable; he just needs songs worthy of his message and voice, and Don Quixote only has four of those, at best.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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