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CD REVIEW: Staticland - 9 Volt Sandbox
By Eliot Popkin - 01/23/2002 - 05:21 PM EST

Artist: Staticland
Album: 9 Volt Sandbox
CD Review: Staticland is similar to groups like New Radicals and Five for Fighting where there mainly is one person to the whole shebang; in this case it is Patrick Newman playing guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals. Quite an undertaking to be sure. The disc starts off with the uptempo rocker "What's Going On" and follows right into the fun swing of "Radio King" in which Newman sings "And you know there is no one else around, Who can compare, nobody else there, Here comes the radio king." Hmm, is he talking about Elvis or himself? Either way, it is a real fun listen that cooks right along and leaves you wanting to dance around like a Gap commercial. Some may think a swing song is a bit out of place on a pop/rock CD, but I like it when artists throw a whole cornucopia of styles at you. When it is done as nicely as is done here, it's really enjoyable.

And in exploring different styles, my favorite song here is the rockabilly flavored "Bye Bye Baby." Newman knows how to find a groove and allow it to just cook right along. Another real fun cut is "Another Superman" which portrays Superman as a stalker. Ain't that an interesting twist! My only suggestion here is that in playing so many different instruments, I think at times Newman might be almost too involved. It would be cool to hear the grooves and rhythms played I can only imagine how difficult it is to write and sing, and then play every instrument on top of that! Allow yourself a break, you definitely deserve one. Overall this disc is a nice study of a variety of different styles, each coming together into a very pleasing album.

Contact: Patrick Newman,

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