Sunday, February 21, 2010

Charles Lee - A Message For The Battleworn

Hear The Track Here

This has been a terrific month for hearing new musicians, and here's Charles Lee yet another new name to me - this time from Mixposure. Oh, that'll be rock then Gilmore eh? Well drrrr, Mixposure.... Having said that, there isn't much I haven't liked from the site although a steady diet of rock isn't always my idea of fun. I always make a point of listening to the other (odder maybe lol) DJ's who tend to feature a wider range of music, including Jiminy Jazz's excellent programs. Still, this ain't about the radio, its about Charles Lee and his particular brand of rock made - and I quote - 'with Garageband, a Blue Snowball microphone, Fender American Stratocaster guitar, and Charles' own quirky voice'. Well, sounds like a million of us and I have heard some surprisingly effective home productions from such setups.

So you can stop the sniggering at Garageband....

One of the main problems I have had with indie producers (OK bedroom engineers then!) has nothing to do with either the music or the method of getting it down in digital form but in the thought applied beforehand. As a real world published producer I am bound to notice the difference between someone working to a very tight budget and someone who has all the time in the world to perfect their music, but I also notice the difference each situation brings to the music. In the former situation, precision is everything, in the latter you have much more latitude, which creates its own problems. The tendency is to be ruthless when time is money, and that process helps sharpen the (dare I say it) 'product'. The tendency when recording is in your own hands is to be a lot more relaxed about such niceties. That, unfortunately, is the problem with A Message For The Battleworn in my opinion. Absolutely nothing wrong with the performance or the music, aside from a certain lack of excitement and nothing wrong with the song either. It's just not, to my ears, that inspiring.

Wtf does that matter in the scheme of things, you may ask. Welp, this is exactly the kind of track that will be liked by some people, and may well gain Charles a few listeners but when taken against some of the competition... It's a good little tune, in a soft rock way although I could have done with a little more of the vocals which in turn could have done with being a lot sharper to really cut through. Instrumentally, there are some lovely acoustic sounds, and a truly awful string sound but again that impression is probably more me because I have an inbuilt dislike for factory sounds. If it sounds like I am damning this track with faint praise, I suppose I must be and no doubt I'll feel the guilt about it and maybe I should listen to something else from this source before commenting further. Even so, I'm sure if you like soft rock, ballad-y type things, then you may well like this.

Recommended for all my pissing and moaning.

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