Sunday, May 16, 2010

Crazy for G!

As a precocious 8-year old, I discovered the truth about Santa Claus and immediately confronted my mother. She made me promise not to reveal my discovery to my younger siblings. This killed me as I wanted nothing more than to spill this monumental discovery, but knew I couldn’t til the time was right, lest I bear the Wrath of Mom! That’s sort of how I felt about Griffin Anthony’s new album – “Crazy Ways” when I was fortunate enough to get a preview of this album before its official release. And I can safely say now - from the first note to the last, I wanted to shout from the rooftops – “LISTEN UP PEOPLE! I got something good to tell you!!”

I’ve been following Griffin’s progress in the creation of his first LP for more than a year, since being introduced to him by a mutual friend. His is a study in creative energy and perseverance. At 26, Griffin knows where he wants to go in life and as this album clearly demonstrates, his path is clear. A talented singer/songwriter, Griffin has maximized his life experience to create a body of work that rings through with strong lyrics and masterful harmonies. As I have stood on the sidelines watching the album come together and talking to Griffin off and on throughout the process, I feel fortunate to have had a front-row seat to witness the hard work and dedication that went into it by a young man with the talent and passion to succeed in achieving what others only dream about.

And the work speaks loud and clear: Griffin’s vocals carry a smooth cadence…a bedroom voice that runs shivers down your spine and practically makes you squeal in delight. The title track “Crazy Ways” is a head-bopping little diddy that makes you want to sing along even if you don’t know the lyrics. As this first single was released in October, I had heard it before but wanted to listen again in order to get the full effect of the compilation. My initial reaction was reinvigorated as I turned up the volume and went along for the ride. Speaking of rides, the next track – “So You “ – called to mind the perfect ‘driving-home-after-a-busy-day‘ song, with no traffic around you and a wide open road where you can open it up, settle in and just cruise along. “Keep It Honest” is a funky-cool, bluesy piece that extols the Wisdom of the Ages from someone who was barely out of nappies as I was headed off to high school.

Then there is “Sleepy Sunday “…when I heard the original version I couldn’t help thinking what a great song it was. It was my favorite off Griffin’s first EP (released in 2007) and I was really excited for him when it was picked up by ABC. I had heard he was re-working it for the LP and was a little nervous about what I would hear. But let me tell you something – whereas Version 1 was a fun, flirty tune, Version 2 is sexy and seductive.

My two favorite tracks – “Without my Blocks “ and “Hurry Up “ are polar opposites. One is mellow and laidback, the other calls forth the Gods of Blues & Funk and invites the listener to get up and shake their booty to a riveting beat and bass line

Crazy Ways puts some volumes of work by far more seasoned musicians to shame. Griffin Anthony is a force to be reckoned with, and with this freshman offering he is going to help bring forth a new generation of music lovers in search of more substance and soul, and just really want to get down with the music…the basic, primal passion that moves all of us to dance and bop our heads in time to the rhythm and rejoice in the melody. Knowing what I know about G, he was born to do this.

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