As 2016 draws to a close, we have one last Get it or Forget it to bring you. We’ve reviewed a lot of great music this year and can hardly wait to see how 2017 turns out. Watch out of the LA Music Critic Award nominations for the second half of 2016, which will be announced soon.
Artist Name: Imaginary Friends
Album Name: Falling Inward
Genre: Indie Folk Rock
Track Listing: 1. Spirits of Ballona; 2. On my way to Nowhere; 3. Shades of Fire; 4. Don’t You; 5. I Wanna be There; 6. Heaven Knows; 7. Karma Doesn’t Sleep; 8. Keep Hope Alive; 9. Never-Ending Nights; 10. Forever and a Day; 11. Generations
Review: Imaginary Friends is a musical collaboration featuring Stacy Robin, Donna Rawlins, David James and Tom McCauley, as well as special guest musicians. This time around, those guests include Michael Yorky, Barrie Berg, Angie Taylor, Chris Garcia and Ed Gould. From the first percussive beat of “Spirits of Ballona,” it becomes quickly evident that this is going to be a great record. Add in those seamless harmonies of Robin and Rawlins, coupled with the backing vocals of James and McCauley, and Falling Inward becomes a must-have for every serious audiophile. The perfection continues with “On my way to Nowhere,” a dreamy song that brings memories of CSNY. which is followed by the equally wonderful “Shades of Fire.” The indie rock sound finally manifests itself in track 4’s delightful “Don’t You.” The band even does a beautiful cover of Cindy Alexander’s “Heaven Knows” that truly captures her spirit and attitude. James knocks it out of the park when he takes over lead vocals on “Karma Doesn’t Sleep,” before Robins returns with her mystical sound on “Keep Hope Alive.” The album concludes with an amazing instrumental by McCauley. Overall, every song is worthy of attention and will provide thoughtful insight into things we can do to make this a better world. Thank you Imaginary Friends. You are true friends to the world.
Recommendation: Run, don’t walk to your computer and pre-order this CD, which will be released in January 2017. You simply must Get it.
Artist Name: AJ Hobbs
Album Name: Too Much is Never Enough
Label: Booker Records
Track Listing: 1. Too Much is Never Enough; 2. Life Without You; 3. The Loser; 4. The Bottle let me Down; 5. Daddy Loved the Lord; 6. Eastside; 7. Shit Just got Real; 8. Are you Going to Tennessee?; 9. A Whole lot of You and Me; 10. Take it Slow; 11. Waylon & Merle; 12. Tomorrow I’ll be Hurtin’
Publicist: KG Music Press
Review: There has been a lot of chatter these past few years from old time country fans who want more of that old style country music. If this describes you, then your ship has come in. AJ Hobbs has a style that mixes in equal parts Travis Tritt, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, which seems appropriate since the album was mastered by Grammy winner Pete Lyman, who has worked with this year’s Grammy nominee Sturgill Simpson, as well as Jason Isbell. Hobbs even has that “country outlaw” look, with his hat, denim shirt and two-day beard. He has also surrounded himself with some of the best musicians in country music today, including Storm Rhode IV, Jeremy Long, John Schreffler, Jr., Aubrey Richmond, Matt Lesser, Jim Doyle, Brian Whelan and Jeremy Long. But the important fact is that Hobbs can sing country music like he belongs on the radio. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him amongst the nominees for next year’s Grammies. He even gives a loving tribute to Haggard with an excellent cover of “The Bottle let me Down.” This is a great album from start to finish, with “Life Without You” being our pick for the best cut.
Recommendation: This album is scheduled for release on February 17, 2017, and we HIGHLY recommend you pre-order it to ensure you Get it before it becomes scarce. We highly recommend Hobbs and expect to see more great things from him in the future.
Artist Name: Andrea Hamilton
Album Name: Hope and Struggle
Genre: Hopeful Pop
Track Listing: 1. Am I Dreaming; 2. Finally Free; 3. Our Love; 4. Carry Me; 5. Higher; 6. Fevertown; 7. An Easy Life; 8. Love you Better; 9. Meant to be; 10. Colors; 11. You Bring to Mind; 12. Shadow Dancer
Review: The angelic voice of Andrea Hamilton, coupled with the insane production work of Kevin Penner, give Hope and Struggle life and instantly make it one of the best albums that will be released in 2017. It’s hard to believe that Hope is Hamilton’s seventh album, and yet she is still a relatively unknown indie artist. Although she has had some success in the pop world with co-writes with award winning songwriters and producers like Kevin Fisher, Ashley Argotta, Matt Arcaini, Jonathan Lee, Eman Cervantez and Tyrone Wells, Hamilton has not reached household name status like Kari Kimmel. This should not be true. Hamilton’s voice alone, as well as the incredible songs on Hope, demand a larger audience and we think this album may just finally introduce Hamilton’s greatness to the world at large. Every song grabs you with its musicality, while the thoughtful and heartfelt lyrics soar on Hamilton’s vocals, giving you hope in the midst of your daily struggles. This album belongs on stations like KLoVE and Air One, as well as on other mainstream stations. We especially like “Am I Dreaming,” “Carry On,” “Higher” and “Meant to Be.”
Recommendation: Although the album is not out until February 1, 2017, we think this one is truly worthy. We strongly advise you to pre-order it so you can listen sooner. Go out and Get it.