Review of Somebody
By White Lion Radio Podcast (white-lion-radio.blogspot.com) October 5, 2020
That brings us to his new album which is called “Somebody” and features 10 tracks, let’s have an indepth look at this synthpop gem……
The opening track is the title track “Somebody”, which has a strong electro vibe and sounds quite dark at first but evolves into a solid synthpop song, a good opening track that sets the tone for the album.
“I See You” is certainly influenced by Depeche Mode, when Vince Clarke was the lead songwriter, plenty of hook lines and melodic sequences, Clarke’s trademark, a track that sounds like it was made for Depeche Mode’s “Speak & Spell” album, excellent track all round, great music and vocals, I can see this being a fan favourite.
Track 3 is “No Time To Die”, which opens with haunting strings and then wallop, electro pop all the way, some nice piano parts, it’s another catchy, upbeat song, not sure about the disorted effect on some of the vocals, not convinced it was needed, that said it is still a strong track.
“Twilight Zone”, wow, a beautiful track, superb soundscape, great vocal and love the chorus, very “Ultravox”, the structure of the track is truly excellent, piano parts again wonderful, great rhythm section, brilliant use of synths but it is the vocal that really stands out, without doubt, so far, my favourite track.
“Rick Rack” has a more minimal approach, which works very well with the vocal arrangement, reminded me of the sound of Depeche Mode on their “Construction Time Again” album, more of a ballad this one, which has been superbly executed. Perfectly placed in the running order on the album.
Following that track we have “Fallen Angel”, which has some deep and dark sounds, punctured by melodic sequencer parts, another fine chorus on this track, I really like the darker sound on this song, another highlight.
“Imaginary World” definitely draws on the influence of Erasure, a superbly crafted synthpop track, Jeff has a talent to use strong melody lines in his songs and once again this track is evidence of that, some beautiful synth sounds used, a strong chorus, a synthpop gem! Love it!
Now i’m a sucker for sequencer melodies and “Part Of The Con” has a beautiful sequenced opening, I like the drums on this track, Jeff also introduces some organ and guitar parts, a fantastic driving Bass-line runs through the track, passionate vocal delivery by Jeff too.
“Your Eyes” is a mid-paced track which fuses together the influences of both Vince Clarke and Midge Ure, again the rhythm section is brilliant, a lot going on but he doesn’t over do it, I like the sparseness of the track, plenty of space for the instrumentation and vocals, this is another highlight for me.
The album closes with the track “Goodbye Europa”, which has a strong Midge Ure influence, Jeff even sounds like Midge on the chorus! some superb pad sounds used and again Jeff delivers an impeccable vocal, it’s a moody track and a perfect way to end the album.
Over the years I have discovered an amazing amount of truly talented independent electronic music artists doing Podcast shows, and Jeff falls into that category, this album takes him to a higher level, 10 tracks of true quality, the album surprised me and I think fans are going to love it, highly recommended.
Review of Night Life
By Andrew Goodwin for NEW MUSIC EAR (www.newmusicear.com) April 14, 2018.
ALBUM SUMMARY – “Night Life” is a great album for those who love the 80s Electronica and Synth Pop bands. Jeff has made an album that takes you back to those great musical times. With every song, every listener will find something new that reminds them of a certain artist of that era. There are elements of Erasure, Human League, Heaven 17, Thompson Twins, Kraftwerk, New Order and many more. Jeff has used his vast knowledge of the genres to create something very special. It is like an 80s time capsule in musical form. Jeff is a great singer as well as a songwriter and this perfect retro album will have you reliving those nostalgic memories of the best music decade. “Night Life” is 80s life!
01 “NIGHT LIFE” – This opening track reminds me of Heaven 17 with a hint of Kraftwerk’s electronic vocal backing on the chorus. Bright and breezy with a great vocal, a pumping electronic beat and catchy chorus. Sets you up nicely for the nostalgic glimpse into your 80s past that is to come.
02 “HAVEN’T I TRIED” – Starts with a person walking and whistling before the footsteps change into a throbbing electro beat, synths and handclap sounds. The verses are clearly Erasure-like but the chorus somehow changes into Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys! Great song, the chorus is sing-a-long catchy and the vocals and composition are perfect Electro Pop.
03 “WHEN YOU FALL” – A powerful and emotive Electro Rock ballad with an eerie atmospheric style. As a big fan of Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet it reminds me a little of their very early albums. The chorus is akin to David Sylvian of Japan, with that low, almost monotone dark vocal which adds to the track’s ambience. Great track.
04 “NEW HORIZONS” – The vocals on this track remind me of Midge Ure (of Ultravox fame) intertwined with a musical style of The Thompson Twins. Really nice emotional vocals in what sounds like a positive song of hope. Proves that Jeff isn’t just a one trick pony, he can throw out a moving ballad as well as catchy Pop.
05 “SEE THE TEARS” – With a pumping Electro Disco beat and full of Electronic effects this is a mash of New Order and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. The quickfire non stop vocals keep the track ticking over, Has elements that make it sound like a superb remix which could have been a hit in the clubs at the time.
06 “AM I DREAMING” – This track is the one most sounding like Human League. My favourite on the album by far. Jeff gives us his best Philip Oakey vocal and its so good it takes me back to 1981 when I first bought the “Dare” album. The biggest compliment I can give, is that this could be ON that album!
07 “CAN YOU FEEL” – A New Romantic sounding track which is atmospheric in style. Trying to pin down a sound that it reminds me of and I had to pick three! So it is one part Gary Numan, one part A-Ha and one part Visage. Jeff has great 80s knowledge and knows how to create special songs that just instill memories of your favourite 80s artists.
08 “LOVE LOST” – Perfect Synth Pop at its best, emotive with a lovely chorus. Could be Vince Clarke and Andy Bell at their peak Erasure moments. As good as one of my favourite songs by the band, “Ship Of Fools”. Top song!
09 “LIFE DRAMA” – Just when you think you have pinned the artist Jeff is thinking of, he slaps you in the face with another one in an instant! Alphaville, Blancmange, Erasure, Heaven 17 and Yello all came in my head on listening to this. A great uptempo Electronic Pop song.
10 “HIDEAWAY” – This final song on the album didn’t grab me instantly as the previous nine tracks. Maybe its because it is an album rich in excellence and full of “hit” songs in my opinion that this one maybe falls short. It is still a good song, imagine the scenario, Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 meets Thomas Dolby who then both agree to create a song with Kraftwerk.