Theo Eastwind – The O (CD)

While the style is not the pop music of the eighties, Theo starts out eir “The O” with a track in “Set-Up” that has more of a passing similarity to “Synchroncity”-era The Police and Peter Gabriel. The sound of an Eastwind song is organic, but dense. This is a stark contrast to a number of the other singer-songwriters of the current period, who tend to be as Spartan as possible. “Set-Up” is a perfect introduction to “The O” as it crackles with energy as it ties listeners in for the long haul.

The much more jazz-influenced “Home” is not as directly compelling, but Theo’s smooth vocals do much to keep individuals as interested as they were when they first put “The O” in their player. This is pop rock but not devoid of a soul; individuals can just imagine when they are listening to the disc Theo sitting in some smoky bar or coffee shop. The style of “Set-Up” is the dominant sound present on “The O”; “Only To Be” is couched in that same style and marks another peak in the already dizzying heights achieved by the talented Eastwind.

The disc takes an even more positive sound with “Firedrill”; the soulful crooning of Eastwind is only one of the things that makes this track an instant classic. The bass guitar, which was relegated to the background on other tracks of “The O” makes a stunning move for the minds and hearts of listeners. Theo plays what Dave Matthews should honestly be doing, instead of the full-of-eirself drek that issues forth from that South African windbag every few years. Everything is so sincere on this album, and Theo has no airs that individuals can pick up. While the guitar work (and by extension, the output of the band) is not cutting-edge in regards of what Eastwind is trying to do, the arrangements that issue forth on “The O” are some of the most involved since Radiohead’s “OK Computer”. 13 tracks end fairly quickly; three-fourths of a disc pass before Eastwind acks it in. The disc will find itself back on repeat in a short time, so the replay value of this disc is much higher than most. “The O” should be an indicator for listeners that Eastwind will be making music for a long time; just listen to the Bob Marley-influenced “Marlena” and try to find any fault with Eastwind. You won’t.

Top Tracks: Marlena, Set-Up

Rating: 7.1/10

Theo Eastwind – The O / 2005 Select Bands / 13 Tracks / http://www.theoeastwind.com / Reviewed 17 March 2006

[JMcQ]

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