Eric Frederickson – Something Blue (CD)

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, “Something Else” 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, Eric’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 – 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 “Something Blue” 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 “Shooting Star” threaten to drown out Eric, and really are a distraction to eir’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 doesn’t mesh with the vocals as well as it could. The lyrics that Eric puts in each track are the highpoint of the disc – 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, “Eyes”, 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 – 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

Rating: 4.9/10

Eric Frederickson – Something Blue / 2003 Self-Released / 11 Tracks / / / Reviewed 31 March 2004

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