Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers (Bonus Tracks)
Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.
Listening to the major-label debut from Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers, you can understand why they have attracted a nice-sized following on the college circuit. They churn out straightforward rock & roll that's slightly rootsy, slightly soulful, and definitely tuneful. It's a sound that recalls the Counting Crows and the Wallflowers; however, Kellogg does offer two distinct differences that often stand as improvements over their influences. His romantic tunes about girls who hurt him or who got hurt by him aren't as angst-filled as the Crows' Adam Duritz's and his vocals have a much smoother timbre than both Duritz's and the Wallflowers' Jakob Dylan's. It all makes for music that's easy to digest, but also music that is a bit easy to forget. The band tends to traffic in midtempo tunes that are all well crafted, yet they also lack truly distinctive qualities. The quite listenable opening numbers, "Flower in Rain" and "You've Changed," aren't delivered powerfully enough to leave a lasting impression. The one full-out rocker, "Vegas," is a good change of pace; however, it too doesn't fully catch fire. Onetime Whiskeytown guitarist Mike Daly contributes some welcome pedal steel on a pair of tunes, "Blue Jean" and "See You Later, See You Soon." While the former is a particularly appealing country-rocker, the latter spotlights one of the band's shortcomings. Their verses typically are stronger than their choruses. In "See You Later, See You Soon" the verses hold some nice details but the chorus ("See you later, see you soon/See you later alligator, I will see you in the moon") comes off as too bland to grab one's ear or heart. The disc does possess several notable numbers. The Crows-ish rocker "Maria" is quite radio-friendly, while the two piano-based ballads ("Such a Way" and "Keep Me in Your Thoughts") are melodic and moving. There is nothing especially wrong with this record, just nothing to get really excited over.
Stop reading. And buy.
Ok, here's the deal. If you are reading this right now and haven't been impressed by the 30 second clips from iTunes--then, there may not be a pulse in your veins. Honestly, there is hardly music out there that has so much life, vibrancy, and just pure emotional energy than this. The songs are just catchy and well written. I mean, these may not seem life changing to everyone, but they are well worth the price that iTunes has them posted for. A deal at the price. In fact, a steal when you get right down to it. I saw these guys in concert and if you ever get the chance, you need to see them. Hands down one of my favorite concerts of the year. Up front, easy going, fun guys who just enjoy good music. Wow. So yes, listen to this music as you ride home, walk through the crowded streets, workout in the gym, or just lay on your futon and contemplate life... Either way, these great songs won't disappoint. Rock on.
The Price Says It All...
You must buy this CD, its 7.99, and comes with nearly double the songs of a normal CD on iTunes. Granted, some of the songs like "Vegas" aren't the best, the CD has enough solid tracks to make it woth the money. Thumbs up - you'll like it. My suggestions: Such a Way, My Sweet Charade, 4th Street Moon, and Flower in Rain.
This CD hasn't left my 5 CD changer or my ipod since June '05 when I was first introduced to their music. It's a solid CD... but, it's even better after you've seen them live. Not only do they sound great, they also have such a fun, energetic chemistry on stage. CHECK THEM OUT!
Years Active: '00s