Todd Bowie - Lucky Space People
4 (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: April 2, 2004
Review by Tony BonyataWhile his name may initially draw comparisons to another famous rock artist, the similarities end there as multi-instrumentalist / singer / songwriter Todd Bowie's music is uniquely his own.
Bowie, a distant relative of early American adventurer Jim Bowie, is certainly no stranger to the music world. After spending years though as a touring guitar and keyboard technician for the likes of Beck, The Flaming Lips, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, the musician felt the time was right to finally work on his own material.
And it's a good thing too, because the bright and beautiful compositions that fill his debut album Lucky Space People are every bit as engaging as his former employers' own material.
Lucky Space People was co-produced by Bowie, longtime music associate Chris Buttleman and Mike Hoffmann (EIEIO / Willy Porter), who also provided the lion's share of bass parts for the album. Although Bowie plays most of the instruments himself, he's also incorporated the talents of bassist John Munson (Semisonic), cellist Melaniejane and drummers Derek Crawford (Starch Martins), Doug Corella and Donny Brown (both from The Verve Pipe) to add more spontaneity to the mix.
The album was recorded last year in Buttleman's Victorian home studio in Lake Geneva, WI in between Bowie's hectic tour schedule with Beck and The Lips. Bowie and Buttleman polished up a dozen tracks from a sixty-song vault of Todd's material, resulting in a richly textured collection of slightly askewed pop rock infused with indelible melodies, warm harmonies and production values that are, despite the album's title, extremely human. In fact, the organic nature of how the album was actually produced - with all the artists working and living together under the same roof - is evident throughout.
The songs that spill from the New Hampshire native-turned-Lake Geneva resident's album are infectious slices of eclectic pop rock that lightly hint at other creative pop composers, such as the late Elliott Smith, Andy Partridge, Lennon & McCartney and even another one-time Lake Geneva resident Adrian Belew.
>From the bouncy pop of the album's first single "Holiday Fun" to the driving anthemic chorus of "Eiffel" to the angst-ridden vocals that brings closure to the track "Justify," the results are electrifying. Adding a broader spectrum of sonic color to his palette, Bowie has also infused a bit of spicy boss nova ("Victoria") and even a gliding waltz rhythm ("Lucky Space People") into this well rounded, yet decidedly off-center brand of rock. Toss in the more introspective numbers ("Could Be" and "Karmaphobe") and what you have is one of the most unique and enjoyable albums to come around in quite some time.
Todd Bowie's Lucky Space People Record Release Party will be held on Tuesday, April 6th at 7:00 p.m. at Hogs & Kisses, 149 Broad St., Lake Geneva, WI (262) 248-7447. Todd will be headlining the show along with fellow Machine Recording artists Dick Prall, Randy Diderrich and Thomas Kovacs. Tickets are $8.00 in advance ($10.00 day of show). 21 and over show.
To order a copy of Todd Bowie's Lucky Space People CD go to: www.awarestore.com
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