CD Review: Rick Monroe - Gypsy Soul

Rick Monroe
Gypsy Soul

This Side of You -  3:31 Better -  3:07 Ease on Down -  3:36
Gypsy Soul – 4:22 Moment Like This – 3:56 Rage On - 3:36

Wow! Another year has passed. I think that I am beginning o tell my age by the amount of hair I lose each month. It's Christmas Eve Day here, and I am probably sure that by the time anyone reads this Christmas will already have passed. So, I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I hope you have a great New Year's Eve. I believe possibly the best Christmas Eve I ever had was in the airport for Bangkok, Thailand about six years ago. I just woke up from a coma and was kicked out of the place I was staying so I spent the night at the airport. Anyway, weary travelers from South Africa, Australia, and the U.K. were all stuck there in transit. We had a great time, a bunch of laughs, a lot of adventure stories and one-by-one each had to depart so the group thinned over the course of the night. I'm sure I'll write about it in the book I am working on.
I found this album in my Dropbox and decided I'd give it a try. So, I'll dive right into it. I notice the production is great quality. This Side of You, starts off the album with a very nice riff, sounds like a plugged-in acoustic guitar, a bass, a slow and steady drumbeat and then the vocals kick in. Lyrically speaking it sends a nice message, and he is a good writer. Musically, there is nothing spectacular about the song it has a catchy chorus and he has very soothing vocals. It is one of those songs that the message is the most noteworthy part of the song. It is definitely one of those songs that I found myself whistling after listening so I wound up playing it a few times. It is a great way to wake up.
The transition to, Better, kinda startled me. I wasn't expecting it. When the opening riff eases off the song finds its groove. It is a bit harder but when the song actually kicks in you'll find yourself moving. Again, this song lyrically is really well written. It leaves you with a very positive feeling. This ain't a drown your sorrows, she left me in a ditch type of song. Rather it is a look back on an old relationship with the message of ponder on how it made you a better person.
Ease on Down, sounds more of a sad country song just by the way it starts off. But, it is a slow steady romantic song. With this album, I have to write more about the message each song delivers and the feeling each instils. I could picture sitting with my girl, just taking it easy and enjoying the moment. I mistook the acoustic twang used in the bridge as more of a "blues" style sound, when actually it coaxes the listener into the chorus, refrain, whichever word you want to use. The melody and tempo should really put the listener at ease.
Gypsy Soul, was the reason I chose this album to review. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover but when you have an list of bands to choose from sometimes a title drives the decision. It begins with a nice clean acoustic riff. When the song crosses from the verse to the chorus it provokes that free drivng felling. You can really imagine being in an outdoor setting with girls in sundresses spinning about taking in the afternoon.
This album doesn't disappoint. Production wise it is probably the most professionally done I have yet to review. The vocals are impeccable, the melodies and harmonies are nice and crisp. But, what really drives this album is the lyrics. A Moment Like This, is possibly my least favorite song on the album, but even that song fits in the spectrum of progression this album takes you. Rage On, eases the listener out of the album. I could say this album takes you on a journey, a trip, but I would classify it more as a trek through the mountain of life.

Jeremy Frost for Country Music News International

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