Here's the thing about singer-songwriter's and their releases. First you have to like the way they sing, and then, of course, you must like their lyrical flair. Sometimes, if the stories are good, you can give the singer some slack if he's average vocalist. Of more than a little importance is how both of these skills are presented in music. Unfortunately, and this applies equally to an ensemble (band), what you get can be as unpredictable as Forrest Gump's box of chocolates.
Fortunately for us, Tony Desimone succeeds on all levels, much of this do to his introduction to and passion for music from an early age. Let's also not forget some significant activities like his degree in Jazz Performance from Temple University or playing with guitarist Scott McGill's progressive outfit Hand Farm. So then, as a successful multi-instrumentalist, Desimone has the talent.
His singing voice seems easy, yet often sound breathless and highly emotive. His lyrics are cogent and personal, mostly or often about love, love lost, and relationships. His arrangements offer mixtures of alt folk and rock, with measures of strings for air and emotion. It all works, and songs like A Perfect Day, Blue, Two Steps Back to You, and Going to California (not a cover of the Zep tune) are impressive representations of his talent. Local Philadelphian and Grammy nominated (Strut) producer Anthony Newett captures Desimone's nuances with crispness and clarity.
Yet, I wonder if any of this really matters. Singer-songwriters, like hip-hop, metalcore, post-grunge, post-punk, or name your flavor of the month, are a dime a dozen these days. With Tony Desimone, he's the unlikely exception to the rule: skillful and original enough to blur the line between being merely entertaining (or self-serving) and provocative. Obviously, with this going for him, he's not a candidate for the cookie-cutter mainstream music industry. But that's our gain now, isn't it? Recommended.
On The Second Time Around, the talented singer-songwriter Tony Desimone offers an imaginative and entertaining album of indie/alt melodic rock, likely better than the mainstream milieu and many of his peers.
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