I love a good storyteller and based on the info I'm reading before diving into what should be an interesting listen that spans genres, I'm champing at the bit to what I might have in store here.
Seattle musician Stan Snow's new album "Into the Great Beyond" is a masterful blend of Indie Rock, Americana, and Classic Rock. With a stellar lineup of collaborators, including Abe Laboriel Jr. (Paul McCartney), Valerie Pinkston (Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston), Lyle Workman (Sting, Beck), and Ben Smith (Heart), Snow promises to deliver a powerful and moving album that explores a wide range of themes, from love and loss to social justice and environmentalism.
That's quite a roster of guests, and as most of my readers know, I'm a sucker for meaningful lyrics. This might be my cup of tea. But alas, we must listen to find out. So I'm gonna drink a protein shake (I've been hitting the gym y'all!), toss this thing on the iPhone, and headphone-up. I won't leave you hanging, though. My thoughts on the album are just a picture of Stan Snow away.
The album opens with the track "Guard," which immediately grabs your attention with its guitar tone and catchy melody. The vocals come in strong and clear, and the song leaves you wanting more, which is good because "Chemical Fallacy" is next. This one is a funky, jazzy track that showcases Stan's vocal restraint. The horns add a touch of excitement, and the overall effect is a song that is both catchy and sophisticated. "Now" is a powerful rock anthem with a strong Pink Floyd vibe. The harmonies are lush and the overall effect is a song that is both epic and anthemic. I love the way the song builds to a crescendo, and the lyrics are both thought-provoking and inspiring. This is my favorite track on the album so far. "Fight" is a fun, but ultimately forgettable rock and roll track. The guitar riffs are catchy and the drums are driving, but the song lacks the memorable hooks and lyrics of some of the other tracks on the album. "Gone Too Fast" is a gut-wrenching ballad about the loss of loved ones. The lyrics are raw and emotional, and the song is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever lost someone they love. The downbeat and dirty sounding "Insanity Repeats" sets a dark and somber mood. Lyrically, it's about the modern war landscape in Eastern Europe, and the song's sound perfectly matches the subject matter. "Trouble" is a fun, catchy rock and roll track with relatable lyrics. The opening riff reminds me of Green Day's "Warning." This is a solid album track. Nothing more. Nothing less. The title track, "Into the Great Beyond," is a fun and engaging story song that falls somewhere in the middle between Nick Cave's darkness and Elliott Smith's earnestness. The lyrics are clever and the melody is catchy, making it a great listen for fans of both storytelling and melody. The track "Jungle" is next and features some awesome finger-picking on the intro before it slides into more Pink Floyd-esque melodic progressive pop-rock. Another solid, if unspectacular track. All of these have been solid to great. Not a bad song on the album thus far. "Try" is a fun little rock-and-roller that features a driving drum beat and catchy lyrics. As we turn the corner towards the end of the album, this feels like on of the tunes that'll be on repeat at some point. The song "Change" reintroduces some jazz and a little rock broadway vibe. The melody is excellent and the song is sure to get stuck in your head. I really dug this one. The album ends on the track "Seasons," a slow, earnest ballad with beautiful guitar work. The song starts off quietly, but builds to a crescendo as the folky pop rock elements come in. The overall effect is a song that is both beautiful and uplifting.
"Into the Great Beyond" is an album that is sure to make a lasting impression. It's a powerful and moving work of art that will stay with you long after you've listened to it. If you're looking for an album that will move you, challenge you, and make you think, then "Into the Great Beyond" is the album for you.