Thursday, October 3, 2013

First Listen: Marshall Artz "I Don't Believe You"

If someone reaches out more than once I like to at least try and give it a chance. Marshall Artz did just that, so I gave them a first listen of their queued up track on ReviewShine called “I Don’t Believe You” off the record “To Be Continued”. Here are my first thoughts…

The track cuts in with some nicely recorded guitar parts. A well picked rhythm guitar, harmonica, some acoustic noolding. Pretty standard for the genre, but it sound nice, pleasing to the ear, and I settle in for a good listen. The recording is crisp and clear. The guitars and harp parts work together in a melodic and charming way that pulls you in a bit. The simplicity lends itself nicely to the song for the most part and surprising fills out the sound quite a bit, given its just two dudes with guitars. The lead parts are very nicely played though the solo goes on a bit longer than I anticipated (if I am being picky from an arrangement standpoint).

As far as the songwriting and singing, I really enjoy about 95% of the singing here. But, there is a strange end phrasing to the last lines of the verses that isn’t all that interesting and feels a little odd and out of place to me. Not the typical conviction I look for in a song. Dylan-esque in nature, but “put on” a little bit (“I don’t belieeeeeve you”). I can empathize with that bit though, as it seems every guy with a guitar and a harmonica rack gets compared to Dylan in some way. But I feel like the thought was purposely there in the singing that “I am going to sound a little like Bob right here”. 

Do I dislike this music? No, not at all. For the most part, this song is a nice and pleasant listen, but it falls a tad flat for me in the “this really stands out” realm. I think it likely works well on radio and most folks will react very well to this music. If I was out in a bar and these guys were playing, I would sure tune in and listen for their set. I think there is a lot of potential here I will have to give a listen to the rest of this record today and see where I stand then…til then, give a listen for yourself 
 and see what you think.

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