There is a tremendous comparison available here in Kronowitt’s case, in which Kronowitt sets eirself to be the inheritor of the Elvis Costello mantle; the heavily-vocal opening to “Elements” really subjugates the instrumental side of things to Kronowitt’s emotive voice. The first real hit on this album is “Ballad of Pete & Heather”; the pitch-shifting aspect of Kronowitt’s vocals taking on a Marc Schultz tone at times. The Spanish-infused guitar gives the track enough in the way of variation to keep individuals interested and allows the song to conceivably make its way onto radio. The majority of tracks on “Elements” seem to have a meandering nature to them, one that really will try listeners’ patience if they are expecting an immediate pay-off.
During tracks like “Go Wild-n-Passionate Thru Life”, Kronowitt successfully includes more than a hint of 70s country in the track to shift allegiances to a Dolly Parton / Stevie Nicks brand of faux-country. The dual vocals during “1 Can’t Love Enough 4 2” continues this type of seventies sound; in a sense, the nearest comparison one can draw is with the (actually, eighties) song by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley “Leather and Lace”. By the time that “Puzzle Piece” starts however one really starts to notice that Kronowitt does not shift up eir vocal style enough to keep listeners involved; this is only exacerbated by the fact that the rest of the instrumental band keep their output to a very similar-sounding set of sounds. This doesn’t mean that the tracks are weakly-constructed; thiongs just need to be shaken up to really bring listeners back into the fold.
The re-mix of an Axl Rose (and even earlier, Outlaws)-like vocal style in “Within Me” is a nice step, bringing the tone of the disc down to a point that a re-start can essentially mark the second half of the CD. This restart is really what is needed for “Elements”; the horn-bongo interaction that takes place during “Troubadour” makes this one of the most interesting and catchy tracks on the disc. Kronowitt does a lot in this second half of “Elements”, but what is really needed is the addition of a few other voices in the creation of music for the next album. There seems to be one voice dictating how this disc will sound too much on this album, and this voice really stifles creativity and subjugates what may be interesting ideas into one generic sound.
Top Tracks: Puzzle Piece, Troubadour
Pete Kronowitt – Elements / 2005 Self Released / 12 Tracks / http://www.petekronowitt.com / Reviewed 15 February 2006