Film Composer/Producer, Kevin Bartlett steps out from behind the studio desk and delivers some of the catchiest, in your face, rock and pop to come along in years. The full-length 12 song, "Songs for the Big Kablooey" arrives on point, in time and simultaneously takes the listener back through 70's glam while pushing the boundaries of contemporary song writing forward to a new paradigm.
Lyrically, the record challenges the known conventions with it's tongue in cheek perspective of the inner and outer worlds while musically the vibe is
Bowie meets Pink Floyd meets Peter Hammill at Steve Hackett's house, but it's truly Bartlett in it's wisdom and mutant guitar wizardry.
Not for the faint of heart, but more for those who heart grows faint in this world of seemingly numbered days.
51% The Women's Perspective
If you suspect this world is spiraling out of control but you also aren't ready to give up hope, this is the album you must hear. Kevin Bartlett's warm and inspiring music is the longtime theme for this show and he's well known for his ability to make the guitar not just an instrument, but another voice. Yet "Songs for the Big Kablooey" is something completely new - infinitely listenable AND danceable with a message that couldn't be more timely. With some of rawest, most honest emotion you're ever likely to hear, that oh-so-rare treat of truly intelligent lyrics, melodies that stick in your head and a warm, compelling voice delivering them with a combination of cynicism, humor and sincerity, "Kablooey" is an album that never makes a false step. It has the strongest first three songs I've heard on an album in years, yet some of my favorites fall in the middle. If you love Scott Walker and admire Brian Wilson's original "Smile" experimentation, do not miss the title track. You may never be the same.
From Nippertown (EP Review)
CD: Kevin Bartlett’s “Songs For The Big Kablooey”
(Aural Gratification, 2010)
Kevin Bartlett channels his inner hubcab-diamond-star-halo with “Songs For The Big Kablooey”, his recently released five-song EP. It’s an exquisite collection of hook-filled, intelligent, glam-infused rock that echoes myriad influences, yet manages to sound absolutely fresh.
Known primarily for his commercial and soundtrack work, Bartlett has nonetheless released a steady stream of under-the-radar works over the years, ranging from a series of ambient cassette tape releases in the ’80s to “Near-Life Experience” (2003) and “Glow In The Dark” (2008), two masterful CDs of instrumental symphonic electro-rock.
But with this release, he takes a hard right turn into the Land of Mainstream Rock. And ooh-baby-ooh, he nails it.
Recorded in his newly-built Woodstock studio, Bartlett performs all the tracks himself – save some backing female vocals. And for the first time, he steps in front of the mic to sing – revealing a warm, crooning voice.
The infectiously catchy “Cool Thing,” a commentary on celebrity culture, sounds like bits of early Bowie, a bloopy-bleepy Brian Eno synth and the Bee Gee’s “Saturday Night Fever” whirled in a blender and whipped into a gem of rocker, propelled by the wild backing wails of Machan Taylor.
Things slow down a bit with “Car With No Wheels,” a heartfelt, bittersweet paean of the frustrations and alienations of infirmity and aging, and then pick right back up again with “Hold You,” a raucus and joyous diatribe against Facebook oversharing that sounds like Marc Bolan-meets-early Roxy Music… with lots of female woo-woo vocals layered on.
“Here’s Looking at You” closes out the way-too-short collection, as the spare, glittering strains slowly and surely build into a huge, gorgeous, full-blown Pink Floyd-esque anthem.
The songs aim high and easily meet, if not exceed, their mark without a hesitation or false moment. The arrangements are adventurous and inventive. The sound is crystalline. And my quibble about the collection being too short? Well, happily, Bartlett reports that he’s wrapping up the recording of some additional songs for a full-length CD release, due to be mastered next month. Do yourself the favor of finding the rest of the songs at CDBaby or iTunes. Highly recommended.
Daily Freeman ALBUM REVIEW: Kevin Bartlett's 'Songs For The Big Kablooey' a great album
ARTIST: Kevin Bartlett
ALBUM: “Songs For The Big Kablooey” EP Review (Aural Gratification)
Woodstock singer-songwriter, producer and label honcho Kevin Bartlett is known for his Aural Gratification record label, where he’s released a records with former partner Happy Rhodes, as well as other ambient artists.
Bartlett has released albums on his own before, but unless carefully tethered, they easily could float away. This one, on the other hand, is something you can sink you teeth into, real, raw rock with a melodic lilt.
A CD cover that looks a lot like the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet is a bit of a tip off that this is a rock ‘n’ roll album in the purest sense of the word (and it is). Written, performed and produced by Bartlett, a few fine guests do turn up, like singers Machan Taylor, Susan Barnett and Mary Kate Burnell, but its Bartlett who does the heavy lifting here.
“Cool Thing” is a big rock song, featuring a huge wall of sound with more hooks than a tackle box. Chances are, you’ll put this one on infinite repeat. But if you ever move on, you hear the slow burn of “Car with No Wheels,” the reckless abandon and controlled chaos of “Hold You,” and the ethereal, cleverly titled “‘Dear’ in The Headlights.”
Even more ethereal, and downright dreamy, is the epic “Here’s Looking’ at You.”
No, make that extremely well done.