CD REVIEW: Nick Zubeck - Tracker
By Don Sechelski - 01/27/2009 - 09:20 PM EST
Artist: Nick Zubeck Album: Tracker Website:http://www.nickzubeck.com Genre: Blend of rock, jazz and experimental sounds Sounds Like: Nobody else Technical Grade: 10 Production/Musicianship Grade: 10 Commercial Value: 8 Overall Talent Level: 10 Songwriting Skills: 10 Performance Skill: 10 Best Songs: Blues In Reds, Cherry Sunshine, Body Parts CD Review:
Great sounds keep coming from the great white north. The latest
is Tracker, the new CD from Toronto based rocker,
Nick Zubeck. Itís an eclectic mix of
well written, well played and produced tunes that donít hesitate to push boundaries
and take chances. Zubeck plays a variety of guitars, a banjo, lap steel, and
other instruments as well as singing lead vocal. He wrote all the tracks, some
by himself, some with bassist Darren Wall. The production is tied together by
experimental post rocker, Sandro Perri, who adds his unique electronic touch as
a player on several tracks while doubling as producer for the project.
Sentimental Devil is
perfect case in point. Perriís moog blends with a great percussion section to
kick off a rocker that morphs into a swinging tune highlighted by Ryan Driverís
flute and Zubeckís clever lyric. Zubeck doesnít shy away from creating new
tones and shimmering sounds. Body Parts
is a jazzy song that features a great Rhodes
track from Robbie Grunwald and smooth guitar work from Zubeck. His vocal is
reminiscent of Todd Rundgrenís best and the production is stellar. Darren Wallís
double bass sets the tone for Track and
Field while Grunwald contributes a strong part on Grand Piano. Tip of My Tongue starts with a brisk
acoustic riff from Zubeck before the horns and mellophone kick in to drive the
song home. Blues and Reds is my
favorite cut on the album. Zubeck shares vocal duties with Olenka Krakus in
jazzy, melancholy piece that features spare but incredibly tasty
instrumentation. Zubeck writes witty, intelligent lyrics that stand up to
repeated listening while uncovering depths of meaning.
The more I listen to Tracker,
the more I like it. Itís intricate and unusual sounds reveal an artist unafraid
to take risks and unwilling to bend to the latest pop whim. Zubeck is a unique
talent whose music demands to be listened to over and over. Each listen reveals
new depths, new awakenings that delight and excite the discerning listener.
Nick Zubeck and Tracker are worth a
listen. Actually, theyíre worth a lot of listens.
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