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CD REVIEW: David Serotkin - Not Alone
By Cyrus Rhodes - 03/22/2010 - 09:30 PM EDT

Artist: David Serotkin
Album: Not Alone
Label: Waltzing Duck Records
Genre: Alternative Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: Paul Simon, Barenaked Ladies, Ben Harper
Technical Grade: 6/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: People Say, Gotta get Away, Meadow
Weakness: Winded Songs, Mix, Recording quality of Drums.
CD Review: San Francisco Bay Area singer/songwriter David Serotkin releases his second CD “Not Alone” in the spring of 2010.

Logging in at just over 49 minutes the CD kicks things off with “The Turn” a short acoustic intro piece that leads it’s way into Track 2 - “Not Alone” an upbeat melody that serves up steady rock groove, catchy vocal melodies, and hooky harmonies. Track 3 “Eternity” shifts gears a bit with slow piano intro, Beatles type rock groove, and addictive vocal melodies. Track 4 “Gotta Get Away” serves up sizzling solo guitar, and upbeat melody complete with more impressive vocal  accents and harmonies from Serotkin and Co.. The vocals style of Serotkin works well throughout the CD. If I was a betting man I would wager he probably sung choir when he was in High School. I also didn’t hesitate to notice a few well places falsettos sprinkled here and there. Serotkin takes some impressive vocal risks throughout this CD showcasing a confident vocal ability. As the CD slowly unfolds its obvious Serotkin’s music offers a lot of variety (writing and playing). Many songs on this CD are incredibly original. The harmonies are brilliant, showcasing strong melodic structure, and amazing creativity in their placement. Serotkin also brings to the table a lot of musical variety via this catalog with a wide range of instrumentation. Besides the typical 4 piece standard - you will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere, full of warmth, and variety. Things like Cello, Strings, Piano, and percussion offer strong musical variety. The musicianship is solid across the board, as the players themselves write, and play there parts extremely well. From catchy rock melodies like “People Say”, to Harry Miller’s “The Cat Came Back” and “Yesterday it Was Over” to more passionate pieces like “Looking for you” and “Meadow”, there’s something on this CD for just about everybody. On a few of the slower, solitary pieces like “Glowing Moon” and “What We Make” we see the true personality of Serotkin shine through My favorite piece overall is “People Say” here we see Serotkin let it all hang out, with solid rock groove, mesmerizing lyrical content and subject matter.

This mix is not what I would call legendary. It has a late 60’s psychedelic flavor to it, and true to form it’s all over the place. Perhaps it’s by design – because it works within the context of the music and genera. Zeroing in on the drums, on some songs they lack serious bottom end. I’m not sure if this is a mix issue, of a bare bones recording quality – but regardless I wish the snare and the Kick drum had more bite. Some of the songs are a bit winded. All songs over 4.5 minutes will drag you to the finish line. I’m not crazy about the quick fade-out on “Looking for You”. CD cover art looks amateurish with Papyrus Font and bland personality.    

David Serotkin is one of those artists who is extremely hard to pigeonhole. So if you ask me who David Serotkin sounds like I would say he sounds like, well David Serotkin. This also indicates to me an artist comfortable within his own skin, and not afraid of being himself musically. Overall “Not Alone” is an impressive musical production. It’s strength – strong originality, amazing musical variety, and brilliant vocal reinforcements, and harmonies. Once again the vocals, vocal harmonies, and melodic accents are brilliantly placed and extremely well crafted. “Not Alone“ is clean, goes down smooth, but overall - just plain fun to listen to.   

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