Luz Verde Vamos!

Riff Rockit

Doogie Doodles Productions, 2014

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Evan Michael is giving back in more ways than one. A leukemia survivor, he's donating the proceeds from his new disc Luz Verde Vamos! to, a group doing research on cures for blood cancers. Additionally, through his moniker Riff Rockit, he's attempting to inspire kids to learn how to play instruments themselves and hopefully one day enjoy the benefits of performing live. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Specifically, he's looking to inspire the Latin community, as Luz Verde Vamos! is entirely in Spanish. He adopts a cartoon/superhero persona along with his pseudonym and costume, ensuring that there's little doubt the young ears will be visually interested in Riff Rockit's playful look and intrigued by the light subject matter. The real question becomes: can he actually write and play a decent song?

Michael may have set the bar high by using the word riff in his working name, but he lives up to it with giant size riffage sprinkled from beginning to end in between a lot of eclectic sounds. Opener “Rock Del Alfabeto” is the first indication of Riff Rockit's penchant for stadium rock, starting the disc off with loud blues-rock complete with horns. “Que Fue Eso” follows and keeps the energy high but veers off into more pop rock territory, a sign of other areas he will soon explore.

It doesn't take long to figure out that Riff Rockit is influenced by '80s and '90s sounds. So it's really only natural that he includes some power ballads like the moving and emotive “Playa” or the acoustic led “El Invierno.” Some electro-pop fun on “Mr. Tux” is another example of the diversity, which sounds like it could be straight out of a Jon Hughes movie in 1985 when the credits are rolling. The album closes as strong as it starts with the sing-along rocker “El Gusanito,” which even for someone like me who only knows a few Spanish words can enjoy.

This is an  album that is probably one of its kind. Riff Rockit brought in Alejandro Garcia (Julio Iglesias) and Bob St. John (Extreme, Duran Duran) to help out with instrumentation and to produce. Not so surprisingly it's extremely polished and, perhaps most importantly, an extremely fun listen.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2014 Tom Haugen 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 Doogie Doodles Productions, and is used for informational purposes only.