Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Richard Snow “Am I Really That Boring?”

There is Snow once again in the forecast for this summer – this time in the form of Richard’s highly anticipated new album, “Am I Really That Boring?” One listen is enough to answer that question with a resounding “no!”

“Am I Really That Boring?” is the third release from Richard Snow, following his self-titled effort and “Tuesday Music” (reviews here). Snow sounds like he is in top form on this one, which will please fans who have been patiently waiting for new music. Snow plays tight Rickenbacker guitar riffs and his vocals are very reminiscent of Elvis Costello. Snow’s satire and cynicism are as crisp as a winter’s morning, but you get the feeling he has a sense of humor under it all as well. As if this list of ingredients isn’t enough to make the perfect smart man’s pop record, he heaps generous portions of sophisticated harmonies as frosting on the cake.

Launching right into it with the Byrds-inspired “Stop Your Crying” – he’ll have you with the first arpeggiation. Another infectious gem, “Middle Class Girl” (video below), showcases his ability to envelop a stinging lyric with sugary melodies: “Your face is like an angel but you’re no girl of my dreams” never sounded so sweet. Snow changes things up early with the gentle finger picking on the lovely “If You Don’t Rescue Me”. There is a jamming Hollies feel meshed with Partridge Family harmonies on the retro “Do You Want To” that a lot of people are likely to find too intriguing to resist. I prefer the more straightforward melodies of tunes like the affable “Take Me Back Home” or the relatable anthem in “Good Guys Never Win”. Snow saves one of his best – the title track - for last. What could have been a borderline novelty tune with its falsetto and amusing lyrics actually sounds undeniably cool.

Keeping true to his influences, Richard Snow will appeal to fans of The Byrds, The Left Banke, and Tom Petty. Without a single dud in the bunch, “Am I Really That Boring?” will be one of the top releases in its genre this year.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11

Richard SnowOfficial site.

Check out the video for “Middle Class Girl”