The Big One
LoBall Records, 2000
REVIEW BY: George Agnos
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/18/1999
New York City has a vital (if not necessarily commercially successful) pop music scene. On any given night, you could go to a local club and hear some fine artists such as Richard X. Heyman, George Usher, and the duo Agnelli and Rave. I'd now like to add one more talent to the above list - Dave Bush & Food.
Their new CD, The Big One, is chock full of melodic, heartfelt songs that alternate between folk-rock and piano pop and a couple of surprises. Of course, the mention of piano pop will make many immediately think of Ben Folds Five, and that John Alagia (who has worked with BFF) is on hand as producer, will reinforce those thoughts.
Admittedly, Bush's vocals has the same fragile, high pitched tone as Ben Folds, and the title song definitely has a BFF vibe at their most poignant. The piano-based song "Invisible" show that Bush also shares Folds' affinitely for early Todd Rundgren-esque balladry. However, this is where the similarity ends.
While there are plenty of cool keyboard moments to be heard on The Big One, there are quite a few guitar-oriented tunes as well. The CD starts off strong with "The Great Unknown," a song which has a gradually soaring melody. There is also the straightforward, self-assured folk-rock of "Ain't Looking To Be Found" which sounds like an anthem for the cynical.
Other highlights include the stunningly plaintive "Beautifully Wrong". The band is particularly effect when Bush and guitarist April Kline harmonize. Another good example of that is on the melancholy "Day By Day", a vivid portrait of a girl leading an empty life.
The band also has a rhythmic side as well, as evidenced by the song "So Jah Seh", a haunting melody with Bill Roberts' bass more prominent and some tasty horn and keyboard flourishes. They even go a little funky on "Make Me" which also has some nice horn arrangements by Tim Cast.
If you are interested in pop music that have melodies that sound good and lyrics that are good for you, then you'll get plenty of nourishment from Dave Bush & Food.