Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

January 24, 2011

Kelly Greene ~ I Wish I Was Alive

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Style: hard rock
Label: self-released
Year: 2008
Home: New York

Members: Kelly Greene ~ vocals/guitar/keyboard
Jonathan Dale ~ guitar

Additional: Kevin Hanson ~ guitar
Roy Nash ~ bass
Mark Bohn ~ drums

There was a point a decade ago where anytime you saw a female musician the first thought was Jewel or Sarah McLaughlin & the intrinsic looking modern pop-folk scene, but in the last decade women have begun to share the fact that they can rock as hard & rough as any man yet retain personal lyrics that do something other than blandly worship sex, drugs & rock'n'roll. Further, musicians these days, men & women, are returning to the 80's hard rock sound of technical proficiency & melodies, realizing this is still great music with a long life, particularly compared to the number of three-chord punk rockers out there or shallow beat oriented electronica/hip-hop. Her press release cites Pat Benatar & Ann Wilson of Heart, with the comparison not far off for singer-songwriter-guitarist Kelly Greene. Pat Benatar might actually be the best tonal comparison to Greene, with the comparison even extending to her musical arrangements, the blistering guitars of her band & lyrics culling from broken-hearted romances. Greene actually has a soft voice that reaches the high notes without strain, though she uses that talent/effect sparingly, while at times she almost sounds too tender for the gritty music she's laced underneath her on this debut album. Greene has thrown all the traits of good rock album into the pot. Dynamics & unexpected moments are always key & Greene never lets the listener down, nor does she careen out of control with wierd progressive interludes that many bands feel is the only way to be unpredictable. One of the keys to a great rock song is the use of dynamics, such as a melody line that actually uses the range of the human voice beyond a couple notes or not having the guitar solo always have to dominate (i.e. "You Are No Angel"), while it's always cool when everything pulls away for some bass heavy ambiant moments (i.e. "I Wish I Was Alive"), let a slower song once in a while (i.e. "I'll Miss You When You Go") & even having a song with a funky rhythm that reminds me of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (i.e. "Bottle Of Crazy") is a good way to approach dynamic variety. Following her hard rock roots Kelly evens includes the obligatory power ballads with the acoustic "Stare At The Sun" with chords forcefully strummed & synthesizer strings, followed by the more upbeat acoustic rocker that could very well be a single from the album& "Is It Too Much".

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