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CD SINGLE REVIEW: Cuddy Mack - "Don't You Ever Leave"
By Gian F - 01/16/2004 - 09:47 PM EST

Artist: Cuddy Mack
Album: "Don't You Ever Leave"
CD Review: Genre: Rock/Funk
Sounds Like: ?
Technical Grade: 8
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8
Commercial Value: 9
Overall Talent Level: 9
Songwriting Skills: 7
Performance Skill: 8
Best Songs: Single
Weakness: Chorus could be stronger
CD Review: With the gluttony of folk rock and hip-hop rock tracks dominating the airwaves, it's nice to get something in the rock genre that goes against the grain. Cuddy Mack, based in Berkeley, California, is a talented trio of musicians who have successfully married the cavalier, aggressive sound of rock with the laid back, organic sound of funk. The result? A radio friendly, potential chart topping single.

Fronted by Malcolm McKinney, and backed by "Pep," the vocals on this project are a delightful surprise and a vast departure from the indecipherable rantings that have become the staple of indie rock. The lyrics are coherent and the story is simple: he doesn't want his girl to leave without putting up a fight to save their relationship. It's not what he says, but it's the emotion with which he says it that's compelling. Enter Gordon Kahan; lead guitarist and guitar teacher who is really the driving force behind this song. His guitar playing keeps you engaged and is the backdrop behind the story being told. He sprinkles melodic fills throughout the song which help the story unfold. He saved his best for last and topped all previous efforts with a stellar solo that begs for industry attention and a bigger audience. He makes his parents and his students very proud.

Advice: Most classic rock songs benefit from sing-a-long choruses. While the chorus of this song is strong, its power is minimized by a lack of melody; it's almost a half chorus that kind of leaves the listener hanging and waiting for more. Incorporate more melody or add a melodic alternative chorus to future songs to take them to the next level.

gkahan@juno.com


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