CD REVIEW: Engloria - Shine
By Cyrus Rhodes - 11/06/2012 - 02:35 PM EST
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: John Mayer, Gin Blossoms, Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20, Good Charlotte, Modest Mouse.
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Where are You, Come Around, What do you Say
Weakness: A few Winded Songs, Repetitive Catalogue, More Raw Emotions (vocals and lyrics)
New York based rock band Engloria engaged in some serious self-fulfilling prophecy when they dubbed their 2011 EP Drive—and coming up on 2013, this is clearly the band's time to Shine, with their edgy and infectious high energy full length debut. Keeping the exciting momentum going from their previous success on both terrestrial and internet radio, the band—frontman/main songwriter James Stewart (vocals, guitar, keys), Brandon Stewart (drums/mandolin) and Michael Gleason (bass)—scored several major coups. They made it onto the Top Seller List on CD Baby; secured promotional opportunities via Red Bull Soundstage and other companies; and were featured alongside The Killers in the “Rock Artist Spotlight” on Music Emissions.
The CD kicks things off with “Shine” a rocking intro piece that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition with its driving rock rhythm, melodic rhythm guitar and hypnotic vocal vibe from Stewart. Track 2 “High Tonight” serves up feel good follow up that serves up an addictive rock groove against rocked out/hooky guitar groove and thought provoking lyrical content. Track 3 “Come Around” keeps things moving in the right direction with its infectious melody thus becoming a rock steady power ballad of sorts with amazing lyrics and mesmerizing vocal delivery. The CD makes a solid first impression dishing out 3 impressive songs in a row. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of such acts like John Mayer, Gin Blossoms, Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20, Good Charlotte, Oasis, and even Modest Mouse. The music itself is an impressive blend of straight up Melodic Alternative Rock with just a dash of Indie Pop. All songs is extremely sing-songy, catchy, hooky, and melodic in nature. Stewart’s voice goes down smooth and is full of passion, reckless abandon and bold honesty. The musicianship from this band is top flight. Besides the 4 piece standard one will also notice impressive vocal harmonies, impressiv3e Rhythm guitar and solo work, effective keyboard/strings accents, and a rhythm section that push the natural accents extremely well. The vocal hooks are masterful and effective. Each song possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. All Engineering aspects (recording, Mixing, Mastering) are in check as the CD delivers crystal clear high end clarity and solid low end punch. From grooving ‘Where are You” to upbeat “I’ve been Down” and Found a Girl” to psychedelic “Feel Alright” and What do you Say” to rocking “Little Darling” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 11 “Hotel Song” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. CD tends to come across as being very repetitive across the board. At the end of the day it’s hard to tell one track from the next. I like Stewarts voice but there are time I wish he would push the emotional envelope a little harder. To go with this last comment perhaps some of the subject matter could go deeper emotionally as well.
Overall Shine is a very consistent and entertaining catalogue of music. It’s strong suit – the amazing amount of melodic rocked out energy and passion you get from James Stewart and company. The songwriting is world class and the messages are passionate and powerful. Indeed one would be wise to keep a watchful eye on these lads during the years to come.
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