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URL of review: Then click Records
For publication: (Charlotte)
My Comments:

I appreciate the time Matt took reviewing my CD. It's obvious that he listened closely.

--------------------------------------------------------------'s Full Review

Brian Hartzog
One-Way Ticket

Imagine for a moment that Prince was born a white guy with a twangy accent.

I give you Brian Hartzog, a man spilling over with ambition and (as he calls it) funk and roll. To take the Prince analogy to dizzying heights- Hartzog wrote all the songs, sang all the vocals, played a majority of the instruments and engineered the album. He may have burned the CDs himself with his super-laser-beam-vision, we’re still waiting for confirmation on that.

What does it sound like? Funk dominated up-tempo rock songs. The lyrical approach ranges from campy 60s romp (Fast Girl in a Pretty Car) to a Nashville pro-songwriter form where the same chorus cleverly means new things with each chapter in the story (Amy’s Run Away).

Pros: Where most do it yourselfers slip into a self-enchanting drone that fails to hypnotize anyone but themselves- Hartzog delivers wild up-tempo arrangements on song after song. He pulls off a tour de force in the audio engineering. The album sounds bright, clean and snappy. Again- all things that you do not expect from a one man show. If you’re dead tired of the rock on the radio, and bored by the rounded soft corners on modern funk, Brian Hartzog may be the shot in the arm you’ve been looking for.

Cons: The melodic vocabulary of the album is, for me, overly theatrical. The “Young Broadway” influence is so prevalent that once I actually walked to the CD changer to see if it hadn’t switched to my arch-nemesis: an unwelcome copy of RENT that lurks in there, somewhere, ready to pounce when least expected. Maybe it’s setting the bar too high vocally, but listening back to back with Jason Hausman- Hartzog’s voice feels exposed, stressed and even amateur.

Artist’s website:

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Brian Hartzog's One-Way Ticket CD

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