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Everything Is One

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Album Review

Singer/songwriters Pete Francis and Craig Dreyer have conjured up a quiet, contemplative duo effort in Everything Is One. Although the disc is being released on Francis' independent label, Scrapper, with distribution through his website, www.petefrancis.com, and other online retailers, it is at least as much Dreyer's record, if not more. Of the ten tracks, Dreyer wrote or co-wrote eight, Francis five. The performers' vocal styles are distinct. Both are native New Yorkers, but Francis has a clear, light tone to his tenor, with distinct enunciation, while Dreyer's voice has grit and a slight slur, as if he's been smoking cigarettes and listening to Leon Russell albums all day. The faux-Southern impression also extends to Dreyer's songs, which sometimes boast pedal steel guitar (played by Buddy Cage) and his relaxed, jazzy saxophone playing. But if the listener has no trouble telling the two singers apart, the songs have great similarities, particularly in the lyrics (some of Dreyer's compositions are co-written by Michael Parrish), which are full of detailed, close observations and introspection. They are simultaneously specific and yet inconclusive. A perfect example is the leadoff track, "Things You'll Never Find," one of only two songs co-written by Dreyer and Francis, which lists all sorts of objects — "Flashlight and a fishing lure/Shotgun shells and faded cans" — to flesh out the title. Some of them sound like things you could find, but the song is as much about memory and longing as it is about real property. And the lyrics to all the songs are full of such items, as well as everyday events, with implications for how they make the songwriters feel. The music ranges from pop to rock to folk, but the tempos never rev up and the melodies are often elongated, so that these are more art songs than pop tunes. The closest to a really catchy number is the title song, and the package includes a DVD with a goofy music video (plus, of course, "making of" footage) that makes it seem even more accessible.

Everything Is One, Craig Dreyer
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Pop, Music
  • Released: Jul 06, 2006

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