Rhett May – Calcutta Boy (CD)

Rhett May begins his latest EP, “Calcutta Boy” with “Little White Powder Under Your Nose”, a track that sets the tone for the rest of the release. The tone of “Little White Powder Under Your Nose” will immediately elicit comparisons to seventies rock performers, whether it be Jackson Browne or Warren Zevon. The tight instrumentation that is present during this track has an equal in the early releases of Rush, and the lyrics themselves are of the type that will stick with listeners for days after “Calcutta Boy” finishes up.

“African Queen” has some big shoes to fill, but it does so and more through the creation of a track that stands as both a unique creation as well as a track that follows the themes and overall approaches first taken during “Little White Powder”. The slightly more funky sound of “African Queen” showcases an appreciation of late eighties and early nineties pop, ensuring that fans of any genre of music will find something from Rhett May that they can appreciate. “Have Your Arms Been Missing Me” starts out with a peppy drum sequence, floating on a tropical rhythm that links together the work of a Pet Shop Boys with the doo-wop teen music of the fifties. “Mirror Mirror” continues “Calcutta Boy”, adding a little bit of Latin flair to May’s repertoire.

The same compelling and intriguing instrumentation that is a hallmark of May continues through this track, with the horns and bass uniting to make something truly special. While there are hints of a Jimmy Buffet during this track, one must understand that May stands above even Mr. Margaritaville, as the instrumentation is head and shoulders above anything that has been presented on Buffett albums up to this point. There may only be a total of four tracks on “Calcutta Boy”, but the quality of this effort ensures that the disc will be continually played by anyone that is lucky enough to purchase a copy. Rhett May has made me a believer, and ensured that I will be checking his web site until that point when news about a new album or a set of tour dates graces his “news” section. Kudos, Rhett May, for making one of the best EPs of 2009.

Top Track: African Queen

Rating: 8.2/10

Rhett May – Calcutta Boy / 2008 Self / 4 Tracks / http://www.rhettmay.com /

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