The Real Deal!
“My Share of Demons”
New CD Release by Rob Fischer is the Real Deal!
Houston, January 13, 2013
Singer / songwriter Rob Fischer has some miles on him. From his mid-western roots in Minnesota, he’s travelled the world – Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America. The boy has never shied away from putting himself out there and experiencing the world up close and personal. This would be a pretty broadening experience for any average Joe, but when interpreted through Rob’s big heart - sensitivity, sympathy, and compassion- you end up with a warehouse of feelings, emotions, encounters, and stories, to draw upon to write great songs. So, as true to the old adage, Rob is not getting older, he’s getting better.
After observing his talents in action, developing and percolating for many years, we were all very pleased and impressed with his first CD in 2009 entitled “Listen to Your Wild Side”. All agreed that LTYWS was very solid offering (“…a softer, more subtle sound that allows equal time for the lyrics…”) for the first time out of the box. Well this reporter just received Rob’s latest production 5 days ago, was immediately blown away, and hasn’t been able to stop listening to it since!
Obviously, the connections and relationships that he established through his debut production have turned out to be tremendous investments that are paying off in spades. MSOD is just pure maturity, tasteful style, and professionalism throughout. The positive experience begins with the handsome, functional tri-fold CD package design that has just the right amount of art and information to establish the relationship and support your journey. Word is that his hereditarily talented daughter Maya captured the somewhat out of character “serious Rob” for the cover photo. The back panel shares the credit with Rob’s talented team of Panamanian artists and musicians. The overall success of this venture is due to co-producers Marco Moreau and Rob. Marco is a clear foundation stone, as he also recorded and mixed the tracks in addition to contributing the stellar lead guitar work throughout. We assume that hats are off to him for also sourcing and blending the input of the fine group of studio musicians that helped Rob’s songs be all that they could be. The production quality is super. Great choices in arrangements and instrumentation bring a wonderful fullness and texture to Rob’s works.
As a songwriter, Rob is demonstrating increasing confidence and skill. As he once commented while reflecting on his broad travels, “…one learns that the longing for love and compassion and the pain of heartbreak and loss are universal…”. While its clear that his sympathetic nature has enabled him to experience and channel these more visceral emotions, we also know him as one of the more positive, fun and joyful individuals on the planet. Both of these sides - and in between – are featured in the eleven songs on MSOD.
While the tones and tempos vary, one constant is Rob’s smooth, warm, genuine, and re-assuring voice. I like to think of it as a glass of a lightly oaked, medium-bodied, California Chardonnay. Nice and round in the mouth, with a pleasant, lingering finish. Hold the glass in the clear spring sunlight and the straw-like liquid will glint and shine – it cheers. Next to the fireside on an autumn evening, things are different, the richer hues and darker tones come to the fore.
Trying to be helpful and informative to my readers, I will take some risk into trying to comment on the portfolio offered. As I crudely cut them, we’re presented with 3 up-tempo driving selections, 3 fun-loving quirky odes, and 5 ballads ranging from yearning to achingly wistful to downright dark. Although Rob proves his strong capability in each genre, I have to say most of my top 5 picks fall into the up-tempo category, with “Storm Is Coming” number one closely followed by “Last Stop Baltimore”.
LSB is a great song to kick things off with. Bright guitar strumming and a driving percussion line (did I say how much I love the Chale & Picho rythym section that provides the stellar foundation across the board?) keep you on board the train, while you peer out through the “dull grey steady rain” to an equally dull and grey socio-economic scene. The lyrics ooze with touching poetry. Plaintive wailing (I assume that its Marco’s) is an incredibly moving background insertion. A real sobering tableau, except…somehow…Rob’s voice interprets and leaves the listener feeling a brave dignity and even rejoicing (even more so on source of the CD title cut “These Roads” and “Storm Is Coming”) in enduring the travails. A final exquisite touch is Mayra’s sweet soothing salve of a few background notes of redemption at the conclusion.
SIC a faster moving number with a great base line. It’s a storm of energy. As noted above, it’s a sad story with a strangely up beat underlying spirit. Rob and Mayra interchange in their duet beautifully. To continue my earlier metaphor, she is a lighter, younger, slightly brassy Sauvingon Blanc to complement his mello Chardonnay. SIC should be a popular hit and I fully expect it to be soon covered (hopefully after a large denomination check changes hands) by (its-not-always-fair) an established main-stream artist.
Just to prove my on personal emotive range, I can share that another strong favorite is the dark, saddening close and leave them wanting more tune “Gone, Gone”. The opening minor guitar chords set the somber tone (along with the for-me-the-bell-is-tolling guitar harmonics provided by Marco at the end), Alvin Abrego’s muted trumpet licks are just dirty, and God knows what the heck is that rattlesnake tail shaking thing that slithers through to knife my heart every now and then?
I could go on and on about each great tune, as each is special in its own way – be it very creatively-cute story lines, emotive cello timbres, hints of latin rythyms, dee-dee-dee bouncy happiness, trombone blarings, sentimental lullabies, poignant harmonica strains, or funky zoot-suited boogie-woogie dancehalls. I must try to draw to a close, so you will just have to listen and enjoy for yourself.