A couple of posts ago, dear reader, I did make mention that this blog had gone all music of late and, look you see, that some more music – something specific – was coming along. The coming along is here. I’ve been given the single As You Do by James Rooney to review.
How did I come to be in this position? A mutual friend connected me to the artist. James was looking for music lovers who ran blogs and could be trusted to give an honest opinion on what he’s doing. Our mutual friend, within moments, thrust my name into the mix. Thank you G-Man.
But you are here, or are still here, to read of this single, not of my social activities (or, yeah, lack thereof, I suppose). Short version? It’s good. Very good. Has all the hallmarks of a catchy, pop tune of note, and reveals a potential for the artist to reach a very wide audience.
There should be a link to it around here, I would suggest you give it a click and give the song a listen before you go on.
Every new artist that comes along – singer, painter, actor, writer – gets compared to those that have come before. It does feel unfair, sometimes, but it’s just the easy way to get a point of reference. Apologies, then, for taking the easy way.
First reaction? It reminded me somewhat of that formulative era of The Who, A Quick One through to Sell Out. The lyrics have the same whimsical, playful way, and the music is certainly what used to get called “radio friendly” when radio stations played actual music. It somewhat lacks, though, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, that aggressive, “we might just stop doing this and kick your or each other’s heads in” just now generally associated with The Who. Imagine, if you will, that The Who stopped fighting each other and instead decided to style their sound as direct competition to, say, The Kinks or maybe even Pink Floyd, although in regards of the latter there’s no overt psychedelic spin on the go here.
Problems with the song? Just a section in the middle and the end where the vocals, the guitar and what I thought was piano but actually turns out to be a guitar too were fighting with each other. And it was not just me fooled on the sound – when I told my (considerably) better half that it was a guitar, not a piano, that we were hearing, the reaction was “no way”. We both agree that either pushing up the vocal, or making the one guitar that sounds like a guitar a touch less “tinny”, would give it a boost.
|picture by JGB Photography|
Vocals? The first name that came to mind was Sting. I appreciate that this will, for a great many people of the planet, have immediate negative connotations. Set aside, dear reader, thoughts and ideas of the somewhat peculiar person Sting is; concentrate on those vocals he once upon a time gave that made him famous in the first instance. Not that James is a “Sting tribute” – there’s a similarity, but on the go hear is a deeper range. One that I, for what it’s worth, really like.
I love Kasabian. I will never love them, however, like I do a Frankie, a Stone Roses, a Smiths or even, yes, a U2 purely because the vocals don’t sit quite right on the awesome songs. I don’t have that issue here at all.
Single reviews in NME never went on this long, did they? Certainly not in Smash Hits.
To round this off then, kind of, would this fit or if you like slot onto any album by anyone I consider to have a similar sound? The answer is yes, and it would be “killer” rather than “filler” on it. For a glimpse of a broader audience of this song, my (considerably) better half was bobbing her head along, our eldest son was doing air guitar to it and our youngest son was going “do do doodoo doo do do do” to it. I guess our house, it is fair to say, are looking forward to following and supporting James Rooney, and certainly look forward to hearing more.
Well, all that’s left for me to do here is to once again encourage you to give the single a try. It does not, as far as I know, cost you anything beyond the calories lost by clicking on the link to hear it, or the three or so very splendid minutes listening.
Thanks to James for the preview copy, thanks to G Man for connecting me, and most of all thank you very much for taking the time to read and giving this a listen.
Be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!