CD REVIEW: Charley and Jesi - With Love
by: Cyrus Rhodes
"Fleetwood Mac without the drama"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Charley and Jesi
Rock n’ Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Rocked-out Blues, Singer-Songwriter
Weakness: Winded Songs, Short Sided Songs. Short Sided CD
Dynamic musical duo Charley (Hinchcliffe) and Jesi (DiPalo) are back with their brand new album “With Love” released in 2014. That unique musicality courses through the upbeat swagger of the first single “Just Wanna Dance,” punctuated by a bombastic saxophone solo and massive harmonies. Meanwhile the opening track, “Hurry Up and Take Your Time” combines a blues bounce with simmering solos from Echols. “Better Day” is a bright, harmonious, upbeat anthem and “Love In” boasts a countrified rhythm and a mini-choir of Charley & Jesi’s musician friends. The album culminates with “Love Light,” a song that shines with a gorgeous dénouement and impeccable playing courtesy of Anderson. In their own words: “We want people to walk away from our album with the feeling of love,” agree Jesi and Charley. “That’s what our music is about. Its love and joy. Love brought us together, and it keeps us going.” Oh and by the way the couple recently got married so you can't fake this stuff.. "With Love" is dedicated to Dorothy Hinchcliffe.
The CD takes flight with “Hurry Up and Take Your Time” a slamming, rock steady prelude that serves up bluesy rock rhythm against slamming solo guitar, rocked out guitar against soulful vocal work from both Charley and Jesi. Track 2 “Please” downshifts a bit with its methodical musical intro eventually lending itself into an impressive ballad that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition with impassioned vocals from Jesi via thought provoking lyrical content. Track 3 “No Reply” keeps things moving in the right direction with its reggae-esque flow, hooky organ, Rhodes Electric Piano, Saxophone, impressive soulful harmonies and invigorating/clever message. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 solid tracks in a row. I would classify this music as classic Rock/Blues popular in the 70-90’s. I can also hear element of Soulful-Rock, Blues of Singer/Songwriter, Funk and Classic Rock of the 70’s. Along the way you will notice impressive instrumentation with things like impressive solo guitar, rhythm guitar, organ, piano and well placed harmonies all built upon a solid rhythm section. The musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. Now turning our attention over to Charley and Jesi as for their vocal abilities, both voice works extremely well within the confines of this rock catalogue. She’s got a good look, a catchy mystique and knows how to sit deep within the pocket and sing a song with amazing vocal fluidity, and a lot of soul and sustained power. Her voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with an infectious jagged edge. Jesi’s got a uniquely special timbre that is infectious. She also showcases a good vibrato and impressive Mezzo Soprano to boot and has much in the way of with much in the way of Power and finesse. Charley also sings on several songs and is equally as effective. Together they are pure gold. The Songwriting is like an old pair of Blue Jeans world class, harmonies and melodies are well placed and well crafted. All the Engineering aspects are in check (Recording, Mixing, Mastering) as the CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. The Musicianship is world class and delivers everything you would expect from a Top-Tiered Rock-Soul Production. By Track 3 the CD hits solid stride dishing out several impressive songs in a row. The best way I can describe the music if Charley and Jesi - imagine Fleetwood Mac without the drama. The music reminds me a bit of The Weepies, Buckingham Nicks, White Stripes, Buddy and June Miller, Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Janis Joplin, Susan Tedeschi, Kid Rock, Shelby Lynne, Lucinda Williams. I especially like the amazing solo segments throughout the CD – providing much in the way of musical variety. By track 5 the CD hits a good solid stride. From grooving “Better Baby” to rock steady “Better Day” to Psychedelic “Lunar Dream” to funky “Just Wanna Dance” to hypnotic “I Wanna’ Go Home”to upbeat "Love-In" this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “Love Light” the perfect finale statement for a CD like this.
Track 1 Hurry up and Take Your Time” feels like an incomplete statement to me. CD is a bit short with only 10 songs. Perhaps 2-4 more tracks are needed to make it a fully loaded CD release. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.
From start to finish “With Love” by Charley and Jesi brings the mojo and is a barnburner release from start to finish. Let me go on record by saying these two really do bring the Rock and Soul, but what makes them so special is how they bring their love to the table. The music is grooving, upbeat, soulful and entertaining. The songwriting – all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. The writing, playing and singing abilities of Charley and Jesi are a rock solid couple musical act. The “artistic couple presence” from Charley and Jesi is something many folks should gravitate towards. At the end of the day they are obviously having a whole lot of fun with this.