Gerry O’Keefe “Whatever Suits You”
Chicago musician Gerry O’Keefe was lead vocalist of the power pop band The Hideouts. This solo effort enables Gerry to explore several styles of pop. The simple guitar melody of “Your Brand New Beginning” is a catchy folk pop tune with nice laid back harmonies. Vocally O’Keefe resembles Cat Stevens, and it works well in the Country melody of “Darlin’ Divine.”
Many of the songs are mid-tempo gems but the slow ballads really stand out, “Lovingly” is a touching song by a dying man who serenades his “precious one” and “Dream Like I Used To” is a wistful acoustic surrender. The pop jangle of “In Your Closet” is another highlight sure to impress and “The Road That Doesn’t End” reminds me of Richard X Heyman‘s recent work. This refreshing collection ends with “We’ll Call It Hope,” and I hope we hear some more from Mr. O’Keefe in the future.
Andy Stone “This Giant Awoke”
Andy Stone returns with his third LP, very much like his last one. Starting with the very bouncy piano tune “Another Rainy Day,” very much in the McCartney/Emitt Rhodes mold. “I Am The Adopted Kid” is clearly trying to be Andy Partridge, with quick changes in tempo and melody. When he goes into Ray Davies mode on “Topsy Turvy” and “Understanding Me” things definitely click.
Clearly Stone is an excellent songwriter, with clear hooks and strong lyrics, but his vocals just fall short on “The Couple Sitting Next To Me” and “Welcome To Your Love.” But the melodies are adventurous and compelling enough that fans should give it listen.