Eric Frederickson is a Christian singer-songwriter that is slightly different from the typical Stephen Curtis Chapman / Matthew West clone in that a sense of electronic noise is accompanying eir at all times. However, â€œSomething Elseâ€ suffers from a compressed recording that sounds as if the entire disc is being played on a lower-grade mp3. Still, even while this might cause a problem for the average listener, Ericâ€™s music shines through on its own merit, regardless of recording. Another common thread on this disc is the feeling that each track is missing something â€“ perhaps the tracks go a little too far in the Spartan ideology subscribed to by Eric and could use more than a guitar and the occasional drum beat. The intimate feel that I see Eric going for on â€œSomething Blueâ€ is sincere as all get out, but ey has not really found that place where the recording sounds as if ey is sitting in a crowded coffee house.
Sounding rough, the over-distortion of the guitars on â€œShooting Starâ€ threaten to drown out Eric, and really are a distraction to eirâ€™s smooth vocals on the rest of the track. Really more of a Frankenstein-monster of a track, the simple fact is that the music doesnâ€™t mesh with the vocals as well as it could. The lyrics that Eric puts in each track are the highpoint of the disc â€“ while most of them still conform to the standards of Christian music, they are still extraordinarily well written. Musically, there are a few high points, but most of the CD is buried under the compressed recording and Spartan bareness that was previously mentioned. Using bongos in the ultimate track, â€œEyesâ€, an illusion of fullness is created and a solid sound is forged that transcends the paucity of instruments used to create it.
Eric has the foundations created for a strong pop album, but one must remember that the framework shown on this disc is not finished by a long shot. To really fabricate this framework, Eric needs to create a fuller sound â€“ whether it be through adding more instruments or just arranging them differently. The songwriting on Something Blue is more than adequate for a pop-rock album; in fact, they are unusually strong for the genre. However, without a move to a fuller and more controlled sound, the message that Eric is trying to preach might be lost forever on weakly arranged or bare tracks.
Top Tracks: Eyes, Silhouette
Eric Frederickson â€“ Something Blue / 2003 Self-Released / 11 Tracks / http://www.ericfrederickson.com / email@example.com / Reviewed 31 March 2004