Home

IMD Mission Statement

Artist Services

CD Reviews

Song Reviews

Interviews

Live Reviews

How to Submit a CD

How to Submit a Song

IMD Music Critics

Join the IMD Team

Testimonials

Advertise with us

Partners

Links

Contact us

 

 

MD Pro Assessments

Music Business Essays

Gig's & Beyond

Studio Recording

Mixing

Mastering

CD Distribution

Radio Airplay

Press Packs

A&R Exposure

Music Placement

Movies & Film Exposure

 

 

 

 

 

 

CD REVIEW: Jeff Cochell - Between the Lines

By  Cyrus Rhodes

 

 

 

**********

Artist: Jeff Cochell
Album: Between the Lines
Label: Independent

Website: www.jeffcochell.com

Genre: Acoustic, Folk

Sounds Like: Jim Croce, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen

Technical Grade: 5/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 6/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 6/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 6/10
Best Songs: When your on your Feet, Between the Lines,    

Weakness: Drums go against the Grain,  loosely knit harmonies, production lacks peak and valley, needs more instrumentation & musical variety
 

CD REVIEW:

 

Portland, Oregon acoustic guitarist Jeff Cochell releases his “Between the Lines” debut CD in the spring of 2010.

 

Logging in at just over 41 minutes the CD kicks things off with “Lay Down Your Hand” an impressive melancholy ballad served-up with steady acoustic groove, catchy vocal melodies, and hooky vocal accents from Cochell. Track 2 “When You’re on your Feet” is another impressive track that dishes out impressive blues rock guitar licks, solid psychedelic groove, and impressive vocal layering and foundation from Cochell. Track 3 “Only if the Sun Don’t Shine” shifts gears a bit with passionate harmonies, and thought provoking lyrical content. The music is slow, melancholy, and goes down easy - reminiscent of a modern day Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, or Gordon Lightfoot. The Baritone delivery of Cochell refuses to try to hard, and sounds strikingly similar to Jim Croce. His vocal style works well, and fills the sonic space peacefully, and unobtrusively. Cochell holds his own pretty good vocally in the bare bones acoustical setting. As the CD slowly unfolds, its obvious Cochell is an accomplished acoustic guitarist (writer, composer, player). This music is pure acoustic folk sung from a deeply honest perspective - like on “When you’re Gone” and “My Back’s Against the Wall” While other are full of deep conventional wisdom: “Baby” and “Fading out of Blue” The defining moments for me are the sad but true moments - “Between the Lines” and “Release Me” this is where we see the true brilliance of Cochell shine through. Once again - Cochell’s guitar playing is classically mesmerizing as he showcases some truly masterful playing, fingerpicking, meloc accents, and fretwork phrasing. Just listen to “Somewhere” and “When You’re on Your Feet” to hear what I'm talking about. My favorite piece on the entire CD is by far Track 2 “When You’re On Your Feet” This impressive track slithers across your ears almost like classic “Pink Floyd” with tight psychedelic groove, amazing vocal harmonies and melodic structure, and a grand slam chorus.

 

Though Cochell’s vocal style works I wish he took a few more vocal risks here and there showcasing more raw emotion. Emotion to powerful to be choreographed. Drum rhythms, beats, fills, tend to lack groove, and at times don’t mesh well with the music. Listen to the drum fills on “Release Me” to understand what I’m talking about. Some of the mixes, songs lack dynamic and need more “Peaks and Valley”. Some vocal harmonies lack pitch, synchronization, and clearly need to be tightened up a bit. All tracks pushing 4 1/2 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. in a bare bones musical production such as this,  more instrumentation is needed to fill the empty space better.

 

Overall Between the Lines is an impressive release from Jeff Cochell. It’s strong suit is it’s overall consistency, lyrical wisdom, and bold straightforwardness. Make no bones about it; It took raw honesty to write some of these songs. What I like most about Jeff Cochell, is there is no "sing songy" attempt to sugar coat the truth. I really admire artists out there who are themselves and just let the chips fall where they may. Praise goes out to the artist that do and show us something real and genuine. Jeff Cochell is one of these artists - he is clearly not trying to be something he's not. Jeff Cochell will work best on days you want a delicate acoustical setting to fill your sonic atmosphere. If I could say anything to, beside the aforementioned: add a bit more musical flavor to your next musical production. Things like stand up bass, pedal steel, mandolin, fiddles, viola, cello, piano, banjo, percussion, whirly bells, celeste, harpsichord, wash board, and even a saw would work well adding even more musical dimension to your overall sound. This can be done without losing the solitary musical foundation. You've also proven how effective you are at staying in the pocket during slow parts, but don't be afraid to exit that comfort zone, and really push that emotional envelope during the chorus, or some of your other parts. In close Cochell’s  playing, writing, and  conventional wisdom are impressive. He tells each tale with hope, passion and pure honesty. When this CD is over you will be dazzled by his guitar playing, touched by his vocal  presence, and mesmerized by his wisdom. 

 

Cyrus Rhodes

 

Read the Jeff Cochell Interview

 

 

 

 

Review also appears on www.musesmuse.com All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home

IMD Mission Statement

CD Reviews

Song Reviews

Interviews

Live Reviews

How to Submit a CD

How to Submit a Song

IMD Music Critics

Join the IMD Team

IMD Pro Assessments

Music Business Essays

Gig's & Beyond

Studio Recording

Mixing

Mastering

CD Distribution

Radio Airplay

Press Packs

A&R Exposure

 

All materials copywrite of www.imdiemusicdigest.com. (c) 2007-2009 Indie Music Reviews. All Rights Reserved