I was sent two tracks this week and I was asked to review them in great depth. I was asked to comment on all aspects of the songs including production, engineering, composition, arrangement and finally what I thought of the songs in terms of viability and marketability in today’s music market. The one thing I wasn’t told is who the artist was who created these tracks. I have listened to the two songs repeatedly, because I could (more on that later) and I must say to the mystery artist: bravo. The two songs in question are ‘Do I Look Good’ and a song called ‘Anchor’. After listening to the tracks I opened the two documents that came with the songs and it turns out it was the music and lyrics to both tunes. Both were notated as being written by Jake and Harrison Sharp. A quick search on the internet reveals that Jake and Harrison Sharp are from Brisbane, Australia and have a band called We Could've Been Kings and I found a link to a 2013 EP called “One Day Soon”. (I love the internet) mysteries are not so for long.
I’m going to assume here that Jake and Harrison are brothers and I will also assume that the band I discovered online is the same artist who sent me the tracks. If my assumptions are correct on all counts; what a difference 18 months makes. “One Day Soon” is raw, not well produced but perhaps shows a little promise. The two songs I was sent are mature, well written songs and the production is first rate. ‘Do I Look Good’ starts off with a solo acoustic guitar riff and launches into a mellow, reggae infused ditty that recalls the best of Jack Johnson, Damien Rice with a splash of Nick Drake. The only suggestion I could make on this track is there is an electric guitar part that is kind of buried in the mix and I would have liked to have heard more of it.
‘Anchor’ is a deeper composition and is more of a brooding ballad brought home by the crying violin (or perhaps it is a cello) throughout the track but once again I would have liked to hear just a little more of it more prominently in the mix. Lyrically, the song is about finding a love to hold on to and being with someone who “grounds” you in the “sea” that is today’s modern world. It is a fairly simple song but very well done. The writers have a central premise and don’t overly confuse it with too clever imagery.
Too often, I am given music to listen to that I am lucky to get through once not to mention repeated listens, but these two songs are very nice and were a pleasure to preview. I could very much hear ‘Anchor’ as the central theme in a romantic comedy flick and ‘Do I Look Good’ could easily find its way into any soft rock or easily listening playlist.
I thank whoever sent me these tracks and I can say it was a pleasure to be introduced to these two talented songwriters.
Uncle Duke; a.k.a. Rob Penland is the producer and host of "The Mad Music Asylum" a 4 hour weekly syndicated radio show and now a 24 hour streaming internet station.