Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Four songs? I want more! This EP is too good to be this short. This is like eating just one potato chip, it’s impossible. Well, maybe some people can do that. I cannot. This is the same situation. It is a good conundrum to have. That means there is real quality here, which is restating the obvious.
The music is not easy to describe since it incorporated many different styles. It’s like peeling away the strands of a rope. A hemp rope is made up of smaller strands of material that when bound together create a rope that is stronger and more durable. The same with Shawn’s music. Many strands of music are woven together to create a stand alone product that is super strong and super resilient.
The positive is that I can review all four songs on this collection to get 100% coverage. So here goes. Westbound Train (Track 1) is a very upbeat country rock ditty that is real easy on the ears. Shawn’s voice is equal parts country and late 50’s rock and roll. The guitar parts have that authentic old time rock and roll quality to them. With some good production and mixing, this song is completely current. Not dated in the least.
Fell In Love In Michigan (Track 2) is reminiscent of the stylings of those garage alt-country rockers, The Bottlerockets. That is a supreme compliment, since I regard The Bottle Rockets as a top tier band. This song has great lyrics and a great chorus with a catchy hooks that can be sung or just grooved to. The tempo and vocals are wonderful and Shawn knows exactly how to speed it up and slow it down for maximum effect.
Any fans of the old Motown sound will certainly enjoy this next number, Make A New Start (Track 3). Shawn sounds like David Byrne fronting The Temptations. This track is a very positive song with a great message. “Let’s renew our commitment to this relationship”. Shawn is definitely a “glass half full” guy, judging from the positive and optimistic lyrical content.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Passing Time’s (Track 4) strong ties to the musical and vocal stylings of rock and roll legend Roy Orbison. The spaciness and psychedelic qualities are stupendous. There is a very strong but somewhat understated twang backbone running through the song. Yes, the twang spinal cord is there, it’s just sometimes it takes a backseat to the warbly and mind bending flamenco style guitars.
I have only positive things to say about the songs on Adventures. My only beef is that it is too short. But, that is a good thing actually. That means that the music is great and you are left with a feeling that you want more at the end. Hopefully, the success of these songs will give Shawn the motivation to write, record, and produce more so we won’t have to wait for long. Come on Shawn, we’re counting on you.