CD REVIEW: Craymo - Be Myself (EP)
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Genre: Alternative Rock, UK Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Psychedelic Punk
Sounds Like: Beck, Tom Petty, Todd Rundgren, Big Star. Cheap Trick, The Grass Roots, The Wallflowers, Franz Ferdinand, Artic Monkeys
Weakness: Cover Art, EP release. More solo segments, genera identity crisis
Craymo is an openly gay, singer/songwriter. He is a strong anti-bullying advocate, having been the victim of bullying and not coming out until he was 35 because of fear. Craymo has written several catchy pop songs that carry a strong anti-bullying message. His latest single is Be Myself, a pop dance anthem about individuality and having the courage to just be yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. The song has been nominated for Best Pop Song in several songwriting competitions including the 2014 Hollywood Music In Media Awards, The 2014 Right Out TV Awards, The 2014 Indie Music Channel Awards and The 2014 Independent Music Network Awards where Craymo was named New Discovery Artist of 2014! Not bad for guy who writes, sings and performs his songs simply from the love of doing it. The best satisfaction is summed up in an email he recently received from a fan that said "thank you for your music, I listen to your songs every day. You give me the courage to face each and every morning. This latest 4 song EP is entitled "Be Myself."
First up is Track 1 “Be Myself” the title track serves up an upbeat groove, meshed against hypnotic lyrical content, strong melody and impressive vocals from Craymo. This intro track sets the tone rather well for a fun and invigorating EP such as this Track 2 "Love You More” presents a catchy retro track which quickly takes flight with rocking lullaby that gradually builds into a passionate full tilt rock groove complete with impressive harmonies against a grand slam chorus. Track 3 “Drive In Picture Sow” serves up yet another hooky tack with its good time feel, amazing harmonies, impressive solo guitar that flows and ebbs it's way through to emotional fruition. As these songs slowly unfolded I could hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic Tom Petty, Todd Rundgren, Big Star. Cheap Trick, The Grass Roots, The Wallflowers, Franz Ferdinand, Artic Monkeys and even David Bowie. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock, with a slight aftertaste of Singer/Songwriter and Retro Rock/Pop. There is also an undeniable UK Psychedelic Punk Influence in there as well. The songs themselves are addictive, eccentric, fascinating, and infectious - all reflections of this artist no doubt. The diverse collection of songs shows Craymo has a lot of depth to his personality. One can't notice intellectual, carefree but real subject matter delivered between the spoken words, with a heavy dose of satire on the side. The musicianship and production touches from all members are rock solid across the board. Craymo showcases rock solid playing and songwriting skills. Besides the 4 piece standard you will also notice things like thick low end beats and rhythms, well placed Guitar, ‘be-bop” harmonies, keyboard/synth, and lush harmonies. Craymo is indeed an accomplished composer, musician, and singer/songwriter within his own right and he is no doubt the musical mastermind behind all this. Equally as impressive is the how he makes the (singer to listener) vocal connection with the songs. Sometimes he reminds me of Beck. Craymo really grooves and has an infectious look and sound. Craymo has an appealing timber and crisp, sharp baritone. He has good instincts as a Producer. All engineering aspects check out well. The EP ends with Track 4 “Moment” (It Get’s Better Remix) the perfect finale statement for a CD like this.
I wish there were more solo segments throughout the EP. EP cover art misses the mark for me, and is extremely amateurish to say the least. I typically deduct 1 star for EP releases. The full length CD release is the best, most complete snapshot to judge an artists by at any given point in time. Track 1 and 4 don’t sound a thing like Track 1 and 3. As a result the EP suffers from a mild case of genera identity crisis. If I Had to pick a genera - I would recommend to Craymo stick with he fun retro material and release 13 of them via a full length album this Summer.
In close “Be Myself” EP by Craymo is just a blast to listen to. In the end he is a highly original and fun-filled pop/rock artist. The music is fresh and highly entertaining. It’s strong suit – its amazing fun-live-vibe Craymo brings to the table. All songs are extremely melodic, passionate, and captivating. All these songs have a ring of truth to them and are boldly honest in a comical way. Each song possesses a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Craymo is a surging Florida based artist armed with a brilliant perspective an amazing flair that many will gravitate towards.