Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ron Gragg - Bang Bang

Hear The Track Here

Presumptions are the bane and curse of my life. No matter what the subject is, my mind will automatically start tallying all the negative connotations, long before starting on what might be right about it. Like most people I get sucked in by labels many of which fill me with such presumptions and predjudice. One of the worst in that line is the term 'Christian Rock' in which I have heard incredibly bad (cringe-inducing lyrics, lack-lustre very MOR musical style) and wonderfully joyous (Cam's Even Song, One Kid's Lunch et al). Now it looks, with a few little niggles, that I am going to add Ron Gragg to that growing cadre too because despite those niggles Bang Bang is an excellent track.

I've been aware of Ron for a while but this was the first time I'd ever heard any of his music and his easy approach and his deft touch with songwriting caught my ear, even though some of the more technical aspects of the track were jarring. Musically, Bang Bang is a kinda/sorta Louisiana lope, the kind of track you associate with the USA's Deep South and its many roots in the blues. One of my favourite musical areas as it happens, and one of the reasons I found this a track I could get close to. Vocally, he sounds quite like Eric Clapton, which suits this style of material perfectly so by all rights I should be rating this highly right?

Weeeeeeellllll (waggles hand)

In every respect, the track delivers. It's a good song with some decent, albeit restrained performance from the man and a clear, if slightly flat and linear mix. All well and good to showcase the song right enough, but what's so wrong with it? OK, here's a scenario: Ron records in his bedroom/closet/kitchen/bathroom within hailing distance of a great many of his family and/or neighbours. Many of us work with the same restrictions but it can lead to the music being, how can I put this?, restrained. In this case, glaringly so. How is it that such a strong, proud song could sound so timid? Ron has a terrific voice that sounds as if he should be belting it out, but knows he can't. That is the overwhelming sense I get from this track but hey, I'm the kind of nerd who would notice something like that. Ignore my carping and at least go and have a listen to a very decent track indeed.

Slightly flawed, but nonetheless, excellent song. Recommended despite those flaws.

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