Found this review by Matthew Forss at kevinpugh.com
Kevin Pugh's "Get It" Review by Matthew Forss
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)
The multi-instrumentalist and talented, comedic vocalist, Kevin Pugh, incorporates a variety of instruments on his debut album, Get It. Some of the following instruments, including the guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, accordion, harmonica, steel drums, lap steel, and baritone ukulele, are used on the new album. The folk-rock experimentalism of Kevin’s music is downright amazing, especially with the vocal talents of his wife, Rachael Pugh. The ten tracks traverse alternative worlds of folk, rock, blues, indie, and experimental rock with a vocal presence unmatched by others in similar genres.
“Sunday” opens with a jangly guitar and keyboard tones that are crystalline and buzzy at the same time. The folksy guitar medley matches Kevin’s poppy vocals. The buzzing noise accompanies a sweeping tonal rhythm that ebbs-and-flows from low to high registers. The music is interrupted with the wavering B3 sounds and the wah-wah sounds of guitars from the 1960s or 70s. The song ends with a bunch of static as the instruments fade out together. The pop-driven song is a mix of Sugar Ray’s lighter fan-fare, as well as a stripped-down incarnation of Stone Temple Pilots and Marcy’s Playground’s “Pigeon Farm.” Despite the uncanny characterizations, the song soars with warm, aural tones that are not at all incongruent or cumbersome.
“Ocean Of Love” features folksy guitar at the onset and Rachael Pugh’s heartfelt vocals that add a touch of poetic blues to the mix. The jangly guitars and rootsy percussion suggests a slight throwback to the acoustic guitar pop songs of the 1970s. The quaint and intimate guitar picking is top-notch and a breeze to listen to. Rachael hits all cylinders with a fine delivery, soaring range, and catchy lyrics.
“La Flor” opens with a raspy sound, distant guitar, and experimental noise that bleeds into Kevin’s vocals. Kevin’s voice is plaintive, but the electric guitar adds a few notes to offset the acoustic guitar sounds and keyboard notes. The slightly electronic voicings are ear-friendly and ballad-esque without sounding too overt. The piano and raspy noises reappear mid-song, before a quirky noise medley takes over for a moment. However, the result is not as poor as it sounds, since the song changes melody and instrumentation throughout. In fact, “La Flor” is one of the best songs on the album, because it showcases diversity and melodic catchiness.
“Serrano Serenade” opens with a seemingly French introduction with a little static, before the song opens up into a French café instrumental medley with droning accordions, acoustic guitar, brushy percussion, and sparkling keyboard tones of magic. The medley picks up speed mid-song, but it still keeps a jaunty rhythm indicative of an early 1900s black-and-white international film soundtrack. At any rate, “Serrano Serenade” is a classy and classic song that fits Kevin’s musical style to a tee without sounding overdone or pretentious.
“Breaking Waves (The Humpback Whale Song)” begins with a pensive acoustic guitar and Kevin’s comedic voicings about falling in love with a humpback whale. Despite the lyrical comedy, which is very appropriate, the song incorporates folksy guitars and rock percussion that include a full-blown electric guitar solo and reverberating B3 sounds.
Get It is not the usual folk rock album available today. For example, Kevin utilizes comedic lyrics on some songs with catchy, folk-rock guitar-driven compositions that are not necessarily pop-centered, but they still retain a sense of pop overall. The incredible musicianship of “Sunday,” “La Flor,” and “Ocean Of Love” solidifies Kevin and Rachael’s commitment to folk-pop music idioms with diverse instrumentation and sounds. The extreme catchiness of several songs will surely grab the attention of all those that ‘get it.’