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CD REVIEW: Colonel Knowledge - Reconnaissance
By Eliot Popkin - 03/19/2002 - 07:13 PM EST

Artist: Band: Colonel Knowledge
Album: Reconnaissance
CD Review: Colonel Knowledge is a 4 piece outfit hailing from the Bay Area who all play, sing and write. The 10 song CD opens with the mysterious yet tighted grooved "You Can Tell." The CD opens silently, and slowly comes in with a groove after a few seconds- it is a tactic that honestly made me think the CD wasn't playing yet. Can't say that I know why they chose to do that. The second song "Thinking" is much more of a pop composition; just more complete thoughts, memorable melodies and touching lyrics such as "A hundred times I've walked away but turned around and run right back." It reminds me of some of the great Billy Joel ballads of the 80s. This is a classic pop ballad with all the elements complete; it is quite wonderful music. In the press notes, it mentions that the vocal for "Thinking" was one untouched vocal take. Perhaps that's why it is so simple and effective at the same time. There is something to be said for making music and enjoying the imperfect perfection that lies within.

This band is definitely experimenting with a bunch of styles. "Thinking" - a beautiful ballad, is sandwiched between two rather experimental rock songs, that being "You Can Tell" and "Lingerie", the latter reminding me a bit of Rufus Wainwright. I think Colonel Knowledge is trying to find that balance being allowing themselves to create and allowing themselves to create some marketable music. It's a battle that many of us musicians find ourselves in. A battle that I see Colonel Knowledge coming out of as winners; with a vibrant and effective catalog of songs. The album continues on in a similar fashion; with some more out-there rock stuff alternating with some drop-dead gorgeous ballads. I'm definitely a sucker for a great ballad and there's a bunch of them here! One challenge I would give the band is to frame their choruses a bit stronger. I think it would make their pleasing musical message even that much more stronger. A great debut from a band we certainly will here more from. Congratulations.

(510) 866-3828

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