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From New York comes an amazing songwriter/musician songwriter/musician known as E.G. Holmes. After many years in the songwriting trenches, and after a chance run in with Donald Fagan of Steely Dan - Holmes teamed up with vocalist David Enden for his latest release to date known as “Wonderful You” in 2012.Conclussion
I always listen to the opening track extremely carefully. It’s the opening track the artist has personally selected to hit your ears first and foremost. The opening track "The Rumors” sets the stage rather well for a modern day Jazz/Pop CD like this. It was a passionate intro piece that stuck in my head with a brilliantly delivered with a richly woven Contemporary Jazz texture with melodies that have serious melodic staying power.
Music will remind you of many classic Jazz singer of the past like Nat King Cole and even the master Frank Sinatra. But there’ an undeniable Pop influence there as well like from James Taylor, Josh Grobin, and John Hiatt. To be honest I can’t say enough about Holmes’ writing style and vocal appeal of Enden.
A far as Enden goes: Rather than showboat, he sings a song the way it’s supposed to be sung – from the heart. E.G Holmes provides the perfect musical landscape for this vocal instrument. “Wonderful You” features a full band compliment and captures a very pure and genuine big city night sound that is classic Pop Jazz and will touch the listener both emotionally and spiritually. E.G Holmes has a sound that favors many Broadway giants of the past yet with a modern day conservative pop feel. It’s simple yet brilliant. I’ve never heard an artist so skillfully combine so many genres’ into one unique sound. Weather this is by design or simply by accident it’s amazing. The songs that stuck with me the most were “Mysterious” and the title track.
If there was one word I would use to describe the tandem Holmes/Enden dream team it would be passion. This CD will simply make your day a more entertaining place, but there is an undeniable soulful passion beneath the performances that can’t be taught in any textbook. Together Holmes/Enden are the genuine article vocalist/composer/performer, but getting back to Holmes. It’s obvious to me his primary goal as artist is to make the world a better place one song at a time. He really deserves a lot of credit for bringing all this together. He truly is a musical mastermind and a brilliant producer.
CD REVIEW: E.G. Holmes - Wonderful you (2013)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Artist: E.G. Holmes (featuring David V. Enden)
Album: Wonderful you
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Pop-Rock, Singer/Songwriter
Sounds Like: Billy Joel, Michael Buble, Marc Cohen, Rufus Wainwright
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Mysterious, Hot Blooded 4-U, Jambalaya
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.
“Wonderful You” by EG Holmes
Review by Steve Gardner
In today’s world with much music created solely for the kids with the pop stars using every device and gadget to keep them in tune, it’s more than refreshing to hear a CD by adults, for adults (kids will dig it too!). From the opening bars of “The Rumors”, from the forthcoming CD by EG Holmes, I was hooked. David Vanden Enden’s voice hits you like a warm, summer rain shower, so soothing and yet extremely powerful. Such a great compliment to the compositions Holmes has created.
Holmes, a songwriter based in Indiana, has assembled a crack crew of musicians & lyricists to bring his vision to life. Lead by producer/arranger Raul Rodriguez, Jr. from Miami, FL, Holmes and Rodriguez have put together ten fantastic tracks featuring the stellar vocals of Vanden Enden. With assistance from lyric writers Casia, from Canada, and Ray DeMeridian from CT, all the songs are catchy and bring you back to a time when we all swayed to the music. The title tune, “Wonderful You”, takes it a step further, placing the listener in a smoky night club from the day of big bands. With swirling strings and a fantastic horn section, all that’s missing is a tux, a martini and Rita Hayworth as your dance partner.
Moving through the track list, “HOT BLOODED 4U” is a smokin’ barn burner with guitarist Jeff Chalpan tearing it up, along with Carolyn Hobza Grogan contributing sultry back up vocals, this tune is a killer and will get you to move on the dance floor!
Another stand out is “Last Regret”. Vanden Enden really sells this song with his pleading story telling and the backing track by Rodriguez is such a fitting backdrop for this tune.
“Jambalaya” has the heart & soul of Miami all over it. This song puts one right smack in the middle of South Beach with its Cuban flavor and spice provided by Rodriguez with his playing and back up vocals. “Jambalaya” had me wishing I took those salsa dancing lessons oh so many years ago.
The final track, “Pills & Chardonnay” is simply a beautiful, bittersweet lover’s lament. Enrico Nichelatti’s violin will make you weep and Bill Barrett on guitar will wake you up from this bad dream, with a majestic crescendo which changes the tenor of the song from pleading to demanding and back to pleading yet once again. The influence of Queen’s Brian May is unmistakable on Barrett’s playing and it works perfectly on “Pills & Chardonnay”
What’s interesting to note is that this group has never met and this record was not made in a traditional recording studio. The entire CD was created virtually over the Internet. While the record gives one the impression all the players were in the same room, they have in fact, recorded all their individual parts from various locations throughout the United States, Italy, Sweden and Canada. Bringing it all together Holmes used an online collaboration web site, Kompoz.com, changing the world in how music is created.
All in all, this collection of songs is a fantastic find and I know for me, “Wonderful You” has found a top spot in my CD collection.