CD REVIEW: E.G. Holmes - Wonderful you (2013)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
E.G. Holmes (featuring
David V. Enden)
Weakness: Mix (overbearing vocal presence)
New York based singer/songwriter E.G. Holmes just released his latest CD entitled Wonderful You in 2013. Recommended if you like Michael Buble, Josh Groben, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion and Harry Connick Jr. I Will note all vocals on this CD are sung by Lead Vocalist David Vanden Enden
The CD quickly takes flight with “The Rumors" a dynamic piano driven intro groove that serves up steady rock rhythm against catchy vocal melody and impressive vocal harmonies from Enden and company. Track 2 is hands down my personal favorite “Mysterious" shifts gears with its smooth flowing beat with heartfelt vocal melody line and grand slam chorus from Holmes. Track 2 presents a solid rock groove with slamming rock steady rhythm, clever lyrical content and impressive vocal accents that flows and ebbs it's way through to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Wonderful You" serves up a hypnotic musical groove meshed against impressive piano and horn accent along the way. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic Billy Joel, Marc Cohen, Rufus Wainwright, Michael Buble, and even Barry Manilow. This CD makes a pretty solid first impression. Right from the start you will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere, full of warmth, variety and strong melodic structure. I would classify this music as catchy piano driven pop rock, with a slight aftertaste of vocal Jazz and Singer/Songwriter. The songs themselves are addictive and upbeat, complete with positive, carefree subject matter with a big city flair. The musicianship of this band is pretty solid across the board. The players themselves write and play there parts extremely well song for song. Make no bones about it – these are solid players. Along the way you will notice lush layers of instrumentation layered everywhere. Besides the 4 piece standard you will also catch impressive things well placed piano, solo guitar, violin, Hammond Organ, Horns, all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section against lush harmonies. Endens' voice works extremely well across the board as he fills the sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. I might add Enden takes many vocal risks throughout the CD indicating to me a strong and confident vocal ability. He has an impressive vibrato and appealing vocal timber no doubt. All songs are short and sweet musical experiences. From passionate "Tonight Everything Changes" to rocking "Hot Blooded for You" to grooving Busted" to heartfelt "I Love the Nigh" and "Last Regret" to slamming "Jambalaya" this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “Pills and Chardonnay" the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
If could say anything to Enden/Holmes right now - it would be for Enden to step back from the mic a bit on some of the slower parts, find that emotional pocket and ride down the intensity and vibrato just a tad. I really like the voice, the passion and the powerful vibrato and timber, but it’s fair to say he comes on way to strong across the board. Perhaps the vocals are a bit hot in the mix by design, but either way his power can be overbearing at times and become a real wear on the ears. There's a time and place for a powerful vibrato, unfortunately Enden elects to place it literally everywhere. Not all session players are mentioned in the liner notes.
Wonderful You is an impressive musical production from start to finish. The music is consistent; the messages are powerful and sung from a very metropolitan yet emotional perspective. It’s strong suit – the rich conventional wisdom and musical passion of Holmes. He possesses enough musical talent and songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. The musicianship of all involved is first rate. Once again the vocals, vocal harmonies and melodic accents from Enden are brilliantly placed and extremely well crafted. The messages are packed to the hilt with rich conventional wisdom offering hope and compassion along the way. As a listener I remained entertained the entire time.