Originally from Elizabeth, New Jersey, Justin Levinson is a 20-year-old singer/songwriter attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. Although his music is predominately influenced by the Beatles, his sound has been compared to that of Ben Folds and Elliot Smith. Much of his debut album “1175 Boylston” reflects not only on time spent living in Boston, but also on his childhood spent in Vermont. Currently, Justin is playing shows and promoting his album in the New England area.
Absolute Power Pop:
Justin Levinson. His debut, 1175 Boylston, sounds like the work of a seasoned pro.Now while anyone these days with a piano-based sound and some pop smarts gets compared to Ben Folds, the comparison is truly earned here. This cd reminds me, more than any other I can recall, of the Ben Folds Five debut album ( one of my top 10 albums of the 90s), not only musically but in spirit as well. Opener "Sunny Day" is as catchy and bouncy as they come (complete with slide trombone courtesy of Levinson himself), and just when you've caught your breath, "Empty Line Cliche" follows with more of the same. The Folds sense of humor is there as well on the album closer "Nice to See You Guys", in which Levinson & Co. break out the banjos and kazoos (!). But he has more than simple pop ditties on his mind; both "Sky Is Falling" and "Fireflies" address the unpopular Iraq war in a thoughtful manner and without sacrificing the underlying melodies. The strong backing vocals on many of the tracks also remind me of the Five, with the main difference being that Levinson is unafraid to use guitars.