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CD REVIEW: Skyfactor - Signal Strength

by: Cyrus Rhodes


"Skyfactor delivers"







Artist/Band: Skyfactor

Album: Signal Strength
Label: Independent Artist
Website: http://www.skyfactor.com/

Genre: Alternative Rock, Soul Rock, Pop Rock
Sounds Like: Counting Crows, Live, Pearl Jam, and even Kings of Leon, The Replacements and Better than Ezra.

Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Here We Go, Wake up, Anything

Weakness:  None




Formed on a rooftop in the East Village of New York City in 2006, SKYFACTOR was born when the musical paths of longtime friends Bob Ziegler and Jason Taylor, formerly of Michigan's "Brother Rabbit" and brothers Jon Rubin and Cliff Rubin (formerly of NYC's "Sky Blues" finally crossed. Almost instantly the songs started flowing out, and they knew they were on to something. Refreshingly spare while layered with deep emotion, the band's songs have a way of becoming the latest soundtrack-to-your-life before you even realize it. Once you hear their new record - and then experience SKYFACTOR live - you'll understand what all the buzz is about. 

The CD kicks things off with Track 1 “Carry the Load” a rock steady prelude of sorts that serves up impressive rhythm guitar, driving rock rhythm and emotional vocal delivery from Ziegler.  Track 2 “Here We Go” serves up an impressive follow-up statement that dishes out melodic vocal phrasing, panted against poppy musical flow and showcases an impressive culmination of guitar and vocals making for a highly marketable piece of music with a grand slam chorus. Track 3 “Wake Up” keeps things moving with heartfelt vocal delivery, via well placed rhythm guitar, slamming rhythm section and impressive harmonies that flow and ebb its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD quickly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Counting Crows, Live, Hootie and the Blowfish, Kings of Leon, The Replacements and Better than Ezra. Besides the four piece standard I can also hear a few impressive guitar solos, lush vocal harmonies and a bit of Hammond Organ layered within the music. The style of the music is straight up Rock with an emphasis on Americana Pop and a hint of soul. The vocal style from Ziegler is impressive. He really knows how to push the emotional envelope well within the confines of each song. The rhythm section (bass and drums) is spot on, and the vocal phrasing is impressive. The overall vocal style from Ziegler is extremely well with the confines of this catalogue. His melodic phrasing and emotional (speaker to ear) touch are the strong suit of Skyfactor. All engineering aspects check out. The Production value is rock solid showcasing solid low end frequencies and crystal clear high end clarity. By track 4 the CD hits solid stride dishing out many impressive songs in a row. Like a heavy weight boxer the impressive songs keep coming at you one after the other - with no sign of letting up. From jamming  "Come Away” to heartfelt "Superstar” and "Anything” to rock steady “Comin’ for You” to rocking “Not Alone” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 11 “Signal Strength” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.  

As far as weaknesses go - I don't have anything worth reporting.

This latest release “Skyfactor” is a strong and consistent musical statement from start to finish. Its strength – the strong song for song consistency, pop-rock-soul feel. that doesn't let up. The music is catchy, melodic, and highly original. What else can I say? One would be wise to keep a watchful eye on Skyfactor over the years to come.

Cyrus Rhodes