Scott Grimes – Livin On The Run (CD)

Scott Grimes – Livin On The Run / 2005 Velocity / 15 Tracks / http://www.scottgrimes.com / http://www.velocity.la / Reviewed 12 November 2005

The album says that it is from 2005, but the sound of the opening, self-titled track sounds more like something from the eighties (along the lines of Bon Jovi, Eddie Money and Bruce Springsteen) than anything that is out in the current period. The vocal style is what is most telling, as it approximates Don Henley’s during “New York Minute”. There is a hint of gospel influence into the track, which really opens up the amount of individuals that can appreciate it.

The Christian connection makes “Sunset Boulevard” into a praise song that is reminiscent of newer Stephen Curtis Chapman or Michael W. Smith. “Sunset Blvd.” actually goes one step farther in the vocal department, shucking the dated style of the first track for a slightly-nasal Marc Schultz style. The decision to put such a quiet track in “I Saw You” in the third position on “Livin On The Run” is a little suspect, as it still drags down the momentum even when the piano and strings kick in. While “Best Days Of My Life” is one of the most inspired and catchy tracks on “Livin On The Run”, the fact is that it would be incredibly hard for an average music listener to figure out if this song was a Bryan Adams or a Scott Grimes track. This is not just a passing comparison; the song is a near-replication of “Summer of 69”, down to the vocal nuances on the track. Further tracks like “You Come Around” continue a very cohesive effort by Grimes, but really do not provide listeners with any evidence that Grimes could fare equally well in any other format.

Grimes does go back to the eighties with “Carrie”, a track that looks back toward Boston’s “Amanda” and the complete Asia. One plus that has to go to Grimes is the fact that ey creates this music with a form of sincerity that is rarely found even from the bands that existed in the period. The unity of these two formats means that “Livin On the Run” does not suffer from half-baked experiments, but creating such a close scatter of hits invites listeners to become bored with the album well before it ends. Late radio-friendly hits like “I Wanna Be There” ensure that this point does not come until later on during the disc, but the large amount of tracks chosen (fifteen) gives listeners more than their fair share of possibilities to opt out.

Rating: 6.0/10

Top Tracks: There Ain’t Nothin’, Best Days of My Life

[JMcQ]

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