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CD Review: Rick Monroe – Gypsy Soul


Gypsy Soul

This Side of You –  3:31 Better – 
3:07 Ease on Down –  3:36

Gypsy Soul – 4:22 Moment Like This –
3:56 Rage On – 3:36

Wow! Another year has passed. I
think that I am beginning o tell my age by the amount of hair I lose each
month. It’s Christmas Eve Day here, and I am probably sure that by the time
anyone reads this Christmas will already have passed. So, I hope you had a
Merry Christmas and I hope you have a great New Year’s Eve. I believe possibly
the best Christmas Eve I ever had was in the airport for Bangkok, Thailand
about six years ago. I just woke up from a coma and was kicked out of the place
I was staying so I spent the night at the airport. Anyway, weary travelers from
South Africa, Australia, and the U.K. were all stuck there in transit. We had a
great time, a bunch of laughs, a lot of adventure stories and one-by-one each
had to depart so the group thinned over the course of the night. I’m sure I’ll
write about it in the book I am working on.

I found this album in my Dropbox and
decided I’d give it a try. So, I’ll dive right into it. I notice the production
is great quality. This Side of You, starts off the album with a very
nice riff, sounds like a plugged-in acoustic guitar, a bass, a slow and steady
drumbeat and then the vocals kick in. Lyrically speaking it sends a nice
message, and he is a good writer. Musically, there is nothing spectacular about
the song it has a catchy chorus and he has very soothing vocals. It is one of
those songs that the message is the most noteworthy part of the song. It is
definitely one of those songs that I found myself whistling after listening so
I wound up playing it a few times. It is a great way to wake up.

The transition to, Better, kinda
startled me. I wasn’t expecting it. When the opening riff eases off the
song finds its groove. It is a bit harder but when the song actually kicks in
you’ll find yourself moving. Again, this song lyrically is really well written.
It leaves you with a very positive feeling. This ain’t a drown your sorrows,
she left me in a ditch type of song. Rather it is a look back on an old
relationship with the message of ponder on how it made you a better person.

Ease on Down, sounds more of a sad
country song just by the way it starts off. But, it is a slow steady romantic
song. With this album, I have to write more about the message each song
delivers and the feeling each instils. I could picture sitting with my girl,
just taking it easy and enjoying the moment. I mistook the acoustic twang used
in the bridge as more of a “blues” style sound, when actually it
coaxes the listener into the chorus, refrain, whichever word you want to use.
The melody and tempo should really put the listener at ease.

Gypsy Soul,was the reason I chose this album
to review. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but when you
have an list of bands to choose from sometimes a title drives the decision. It
begins with a nice clean acoustic riff. When the song crosses from the verse to
the chorus it provokes that free drivng felling. You can really imagine being
in an outdoor setting with girls in sundresses spinning about taking in the

This album doesn’t disappoint.
Production wise it is probably the most professionally done I have yet to
review. The vocals are impeccable, the melodies and harmonies are nice and
crisp. But, what really drives this album is the lyrics. A Moment Like This,
is possibly my least favorite song on the album, but even that song fits in
the spectrum of progression this album takes you. Rage On, eases the
listener out of the album. I could say this album takes you on a journey, a
trip, but I would classify it more as a trek through the mountain of life.

Jeremy Frost for Country Music News

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