CD REVIEW: Bobby Jo Valentine - Home
by: Cyrus Rhodes
"worthy of worldwide recognition"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Artist: Bobby Jo Valentine
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Singer/Songwriter, Pop, Rock, Reggae Pop Rock
Sounds Like: John Maher, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, Counting Crows
Technical Grade: 10/10
Weakness: Retail non-compatibility, copywrite/release date.
San Francisco based singer-songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine. He has received numerous recognitions for his work, including designation of Songwriter of the Year by the West Coast Songwriter’s Association, radio appearances on KGO, KSVY and KRSH, and television spots including ABC’s The Morning Blend, Sac and Company, and NBC’s Outlook Video. Dubbed “the nicest guy ever to pick up an acoustic guitar” by LA Weekly, his unique brand of hopeful folk/pop was also recently featured in a commercial for the 2013 Ford Fusion.
The CD kicks things off with melodic “Real Love” a passionate piano/guitar driven intro groove with methodical musical build, hooky chorus and emotionally charged vocal delivery from Valentine. Track 2 “Come Back to bed” serves up another hooky groove, with melodic musical flow coupled with hooky harmonies and impressive guitar ambience. Track 3 “Hand to Hold” shifts gears with its warm ukulele intro eventually lending itself into a upbeat pop ballad meshed with an infectious melody and thought provoking lyrical content that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of John Maher, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson and Counting Crows. Right from the start you will notice Valentine feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. The overall musical vibe has a nice, melodic poppy, hooky feel to it. The guitar playing is rock solid across the board as Valentine and company dish out impressive guitar licks, rock solid rhythm guitar playing, impressive Piano, accordion, mandolin, pedal steel, xylophone, piano, ukulele, and string movements and well placed keyboard accents. Valentine’s got solid vocal timber and is full of passion and recklessness abandon. He’s got good vocal instincts within each movement he displays an impressive falsetto and inviting timber throughout. His vocal style reminds me of a cross between Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) and John Maher. The musicianship from all the other members in the band has everything you would expect from a standard 4 piece rock band. The songs themselves are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. The production quality is rock solid with crystal clear high end clarity and solid low end punch. From warm and inviting “Warm is the Light” and “By My Side” to heartfelt “Home” and Vernal Falls” to melodic “Between the Lines” to upbeat “Spark” to hypnotic “Gunshot” this 13 track CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 13 “Save What You Can” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
It’s hard to find any solid weaknesses with this production. There is no barcode on the flipside of the CD indicating a retail non-compatibility. I also didn’t notice any Coprywrite/release date anywhere on the entire package. Some of the aforementioned is not typical of professional grade musical releases.
In close Home is an impressive, passionate, poppy, hooky 13 song release from Bobby Jo Valentine. If he has a slam dunk live presentation then that would be a deadly combination no doubt. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate and highly entertaining – and clearly prove BJV is on to something special. At the end of the Bobby Jo Valentine is a world-class singer/songwriter possessing an infectious pop personality clearly worthy of worldwide recognition. One would be wise to keep a watchful on him over the years to come.