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CD REVIEW: P.J. Olsson - "Beautifully Insane"
By Gian F - 08/20/2005 - 03:21 AM EDT

Artist: P.J. Olsson
Album: "Beautifully Insane"
CD Review: Genre: Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: ?
Technical Grade: 9
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9
Commercial Value: 8
Overall Talent Level: 9
Songwriting Skills: 8
Performance Skill: 9
Best Songs: Flower, Wheels, Perfect, Soul Soul Superstar, Three Light Years & A Day
Weakness: ?
CD Review: Every now and then I receive a project that truly defies categorization. A project that is bold, fresh, and innovative. That was the case with P.J. Olsson, a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer from Kentwood, Michigan, who sent in this funky, eclectic, avante garde project that contains a vibrant kaleidoscope of themes, grooves, and production styles.

Blending a 60s folk-rock sound, and melodic rifts from the 70s, he quickly and effectively carves out a distinctive niche for himself on songs like "Soul Sister Superstar" and "Three Light Years & A Day." Both are reminiscent of the post Beatles/pre-disco era that was defined by pure, organic songwriting. One of the strongest hooks I've heard all year can be found on "Wheels," which features a catchy, guitar driven chorus. The song is guaranteed to help sell cars for a major car company.

Right when you think that you have P.J. pegged as a nostalgic hippy with talent, he quickly eradicates that perception with what may be his funkiest track, the Prince flavored, "Flower," which is a bonafide party track that thumps with it's Minneapolis flavored baseline, groovy saxophone, and titillating harmonica parts. To round out his roster, and showcase his depth and vocals, P.J. softly punctuated this project with "Perfect," a radio-friendly ballad that also has tremendous film/tv licensing potential, and "Tomorrow," which uncovers the many layers of his maturity.

Pretty cool for a guy who refers to himself as Beautifully Insane.

Advice: Hit the road jack! You are a performing artist in need of a venue.

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