New artists are always popping up out of the wood work. Most are mediocre and some are just "there." Some stand out, and some wow ya. So where does new artist Riley Armstrong fit into that system? Hmm...
Riley is the first artist on Flicker Records, the new record label started by 3 founding members of Audio Adrenaline. Riley blends just the right amount of electronic/groove-based drum loops with acoustic pop. His smooth voice whispers through the album with a relaxing, easy-listening tone that is equally as entertaining.
However, Armstrong doesn't introduce the electric guitar which may make you wonder by track 11 how that would sound. Maybe he'll experiment with it on the next project? Or is the sound that Riley's created here just what he wanted? From the sound of it... it's the latter. Sounding like a Steven Curtis Chapman meets Mukala, Armstrong creates a sound as common as a Dunkin Donuts not opened 24 hours.
Greater Than" is the perfect example of this. From the tasty drum beat to the Chapman-esque vocals and rhythm to the Mukala popified electronics, the song, currently being serviced to radio, summarizes the album in sound. But the ultimate album highlight, is the light-hearted comical song, "Sleep." A song which Riley says "was written a little each morning one summer while working as a gardener in Vancouver."
Fun and rather soothing to listen to, but left with a slight feeling that the album could have reached further heights at times, Riley's debut is a great one and yet another good release for the new year.- Review date: 4/3/00, written by John DiBiase
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