Online since August 2002

A smooth changing of gears

Reviewed December 2006

Reactive Soul
Reactive Soul
By Simeon Flick

Self-released: 2006

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its CDBaby.com entry.

San Diego's Simeon Flick has a new CD out, his third, that is all over the map stylistically. In fact, his MySpace profile page describes his music as "Alternative / R&B / Folk Rock," which is probably as good a definition as exists.

But those rather disparate styles aren't mixed together – instead, they alternate, track by track, song by song. The album starts off with a kind of throwback art rock piece a la Boz Scaggs or Rupert Holmes, then on the second song (the advanced copy didn't include song information) starts sliding into an East Coast R&B groove that lasts a couple tracks. The fourth song is a flamenco-flavored instrumental on acoustic guitar; then it's a power-pop bit of alt rock, a couple folk-rock tracks, and so it goes for all 13 songs.

While a bit distracting, the thing is that every song is incredibly well-constructed; every arrangement works. And Flick is such a strong, expressive singer that the gear changes don't faze him a bit. That confidence and ability to switch from style to style and back again ends up being one of the album's strengths – the stylistic changes not only hold your attention musically, but it causes you to pay closer attention to each song to see how Flick will approach each new style.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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