Drew Barrett is playing an electric acoustic hybrid sound, and though pleasant it just lacks for something.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Drew Barrett
ALBUM: The Strolling Minstrel
LABEL: Skyward Productions
SERIAL: CDBY 77168
CD INFO: Discogs Info
SPONSOR: Drew Barrett
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Drew Barrett – all vocals, all instruments
TRACK LISTING: 01 City Of Sin * 02 Worked Myself To Death * 03 Lovers * 04 A Change Is On The Way * 05 Soldier Song * 06 Is There Somewhere Else We Go * 07 A Song For Sara * 08 Judicial Breakdown * 09 Visitors From Saturns Moon * 10 Caught In The Act * 11 Billy-Bob
An example of modern indie melodic rock is forthcoming with this release form New York resident Drew Barrett. Not exactly AOR in the strictest sense of the word but containing enough melodic elements and remnants of influences from yesteryear. In many ways, there are some very ‘trippy’ 60’s moments scattered throughout the album, as well as power pop influences from the current.
Barrett’s name may be familiar to some, as he was previously with the band Barakade. However, this effort sees him moving away from standard heavy rock ‘n’ roll fare to something unique and stylish. I was talking of influences of yesteryear, well how about the mostly awesome but forgotten Pavlov’s Dog, while Drew’s unique vocals toggle between the distinctive style of Axel Rose on his lighter moments and Rik Ocasek when he’s sane.
I gotta say that the acoustic guitar oriented songs are probably the pick of the bunch; they’re quite ambient, with lots of keyboard orchestration happening in the background. However, the album rarely generates a lot of excitement, while the vocal style and arrangements tend to be a bit one paced. The only real turn up is the upbeat ‘Worked Myself To Death’ which gives some hint as to what could happen if proceedings got given a hurry up. I quite liked the acoustic ‘A Change Is On The Way’ which has a nice catchy chorus.
The duet ‘Lovers’ sung with Drew’s sister Corrine is great too, and for a moment I was thinking of that Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne duet ‘Close My Eyes Forever’. ‘Caught In The Act’ is a heavier song and is quite dark lyrically and musically while ‘Billy-Bob’ emphasises that 60’s feel of which you can hear it in the psychedelic guitar passages.
I have to admit it’s not really my can of lager, but hey, there are many people out there who would pick up this CD and run with it. For me, perhaps next time, but I would suggest to Drew to get some excitement happening in there so the listeners can share in it.