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The Pittsburgh Wunderkid?

Yeah, Whatever
(Ultra Groove)

I've had this CD for about two weeks now, and every time I've sat down to review it I've just sort of ran into a stumbling-block about what I was going to say about it. Finally, tonight I decided on the best way that I could go about things (in my mind). On one hand, I have to completely commend the musician/art director/conceiver of the project Adam Bailine (he also runs the label Ultra Groove that the disc is released on) on his success with releasing a disc on his own terms on his own label. Anyone who has enough gusto to go through with everything that it takes to concieve and follow through with every element on a scale of starting a label and self-releasing a CD should be commended. Not only that, but the guy is donating all the profits from the sales of the first press of discs to a music program for children. Really, it's about as slick of an independent production that I've seen for a first-time release.

Having said all of the above, I just can't get into the music on Yeah, Whatever very much. It's not that it's horribly put together (the production sounds excellent all the way through) or the songs (many of them are pretty catchy) or anything else. Instead, it's just falls into a category of music that I don't find myself listening to.

If I were to categorize the music on the disc, I'd have to say that it would most easily fall into a top 40 pop/rock category somewhere in between Hootie and The Blowfish (don't cringe too much, they write damn catchy songs in their respective musical area) and older music by the group Dada (the ones who did "Diz-Knee Land" several years back). Not only that, but many of the tracks have a sort of timeless construction to them, making them sound like they could have been written in the 70's, or even the 60's or 50's. It's obvious that Bailine has a great pop sensibility (he plays almost all the instruments on the album as well) and draws his influences from a ton of different sources (and even eras). Probably the catchiest track on the disc is also the first one entitled "I Wanna Fly." Driven by some nice little guitar work and simple drumming, the song is a great little 3 and a half minute slice of pop sing-along, replete with an organ and backup-vocal chorus. Bailine adds a touch of blues to the second track "Nothing" and the third song entitled "Roses For You" is a quiet little song that would probably qualify as the album ballad if it weren't so hummable as well. Things get a little louder on one track "Turn Out The Lights," but the disc never really gets cranked up beyond a touch of feedback on the guitars. Really, it's a disc that would probably appeal just as much to your parents as it would to you (if you like this sort of thing).

With 12 tracks, not one of them going over 4 minutes long, it's a tight release that weaves it's way through pop songs flavored with bits of rock and blues with a smidge of classic-rock thrown in for good measure. If you like the mainstream pop/rock music, this stuff is right up your alley, otherwise I'd say look elsewhere.

Rating: 5