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Big Drop (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter George Stanford first garnered attention with 2007's The EP, a taster for this, his debut album, Big Drop. All five of its tracks reappear within, although the live "Downriver" is now replaced by a studio version. The pop-flecked "My Own Worst Enemy" was chosen for the single, and although undeniably radio-friendly, it wasn't particularly reflective of the EP as a whole, nor of the forthcoming album. It did, however, showcase Stanford's musical and lyrical talent, his strong sense of melody, his copious arrangement style, and his clear, enticing tenor. However, the artist's true forte is found in the sophistication of his sound and the subtle interplay of genres that underlies it. The EP made that evident and the album now brings it to fruition, with the set's songs enveloping myriad genres, while never drawing attention to that fact. The retro '60s sound that shades the emotive "Loving You" is a prime example; a further case in point is "30,000 Feet," which incorporates both sunny reggae and soulful '60s Stax brass in a way the Jamaicans never envisioned. Stanford can invoke the likes of Paul Simon on one song, then knock out another in a far more muscular fashion, as he does on the power ballad-styled "Song for the Untrue." However, the singer reaches his headiest heights when he plants his flag in soul. The emotive blues-tinged "Nikole," the evocative surf-swept "Downriver," and the R&B-doused "Worth It" all find him scaling these highest peaks. These are the set's standouts, although in all probability the lighter numbers, including the gentle title track, will be the ones that permeate the airwaves and climb up the charts.

Customer Reviews

Philadelphia Finds it Soul Again

George Stanford is what people mean when the refer to the word, "artist," offering listeners the bare essence of good music: exceptional talent from an extraordinary soul. If you know anything about this groundbreaking singer-songwriter, you know that ever since elementary school, when he first picked up a trombone and started to blow, he has been on a quest to master music, instrument by instrument, chord by chord, lyric by soulful, resonating lyric. Stanford's grasp of music at every level lends sublime feeling to tracks like "My Own Worst Enemy," "Big Drop," "Downriver," or "Song for the Untrue" (some of my favs!) Gone are the gimmicks, padding, and electronic "enhancements" relied on by so many major-label products shoved down our throats today. Stanford is the seldom-seen, 100% package deal, writing his own songs, playing his own instrument(s), with a voice whose only enhancement is the luminous soul within it. Listen closely and your heart will move, and the goosebumps, I assure you, will sprout. In my favorite anecdote from Stanford's personal blog, during an audition for Island Def Jam Label head L.A. Reid, hip-hop mogul Sean "Jay-Z" Carter happened into the room just as Stanford was cuing up for "My Own Worst Enemy." Two days later, the Hip-hop legend was seen and heard strolling the Def Jam hallways, humming the tune. If that is not an endorsement of a musical talent without boundary, I don't know what is. Since his recent debut on "Last Call With Carson Daly," Stanford has been a star quickly rising. Be sure to get in on the ground floor. Buy the album.

Definitely worth the buy!

I've been listening to George Stanford and Townhall for years. While I was definitely disappointed when Townhall dissolved, I'm pretty happy with the music that George is making. This album is pretty good. I bought it as soon as I could this morning and popped it right into my CD player, and I've been listening to it ever since. I'm really happy with the way "My own worst enemy" turned out. I wasn't really happy with the earlier demos, but this final version is really good. I'm annoyed about one thing though. For the artists who I truly love and truly enjoy, I buy their CDs at record stores. Call me old fashioned, but I like the feeling of a disc and CD notes. I was extremely disappointed, however, to see one of my favorite George Stanford tunes, "Can't Stop Wondering" as an iTunes only Bonus Track. I loved that song since I first heard it online on Geo's site, and I'm actually contemplating buying the CD a second time through iTunes so that I can have that song. This shouldn't be a problem; I feel like I'm being punished for buying an acual CD. Anyway, enjoy the album. It's very good.

This album is incredible!

I used to go see this guy play in Philly and this album is better than what I had expected. It's soulful, honest and the songwriting is phenomenal and that really shines through on songs like "Nikole", "Downriver" and "Song for the untrue". The laid back, stripped down vocals the intricately simplistic guitar work and hook-filled choruses make this album well worth the ten bucks I paid. Great album!


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s

Singer/songwriter George Simon Stanford honed his musical skills at Philadelphia's University of the Arts. The multi-instrumentalist (his first love was trombone) abandoned the academic world midway through his tenure for a life on the road with eclectic Philly rock act Townhall, a relationship that lasted five years. In 2006 Stanford gathered his songs, left his job at a laundromat, and moved to Los Angeles, where within weeks of arriving he landed a record deal with Epic. The soulful singer relocated...
Full Bio
Big Drop (Bonus Track Version), George Stanford
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Customer Ratings