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CD REVIEW: CSB - Circles
By Chip Withrow - 12/10/2005 - 12:20 PM EST

Artist: CSB
Album: Circles
CD Review: Take all the good qualities of Bon Jovi, Hall and Oates, and Big Head Todd and the Monsters (remember them?). Mix them together, and that’s sort of what CSB’s catchy CD Circles is like.

CSB, fronted by singer/songwriter/guitarist Charlie Scopoletti, has put together a dramatic, soulful disc. Scopoletti is a song craftsman. The lyrics – many aimed at lovers on the way out the door – are direct. The music often sounds like a rock band's take on ‘70s soul – fuzz-toned and ringing guitar tracks layered over an insistent bass-and-drums groove.

Scopoletti is a tasteful player; he mostly uses his guitar as a rhythm instrument. “Stay With Me” is a fine example of his talents – no soloing, just rich acoustic and electric textures.

He’s also a powerful vocalist who displays two traits of a true rock singer: big range mixed with throaty roughness. Among his best emotions-on-his-sleeve singing efforts is the pretty “Tomorrow.”

“Blind” is another powerhouse. It rocks intensely, but like many of this disc’s songs, it’s danceable. It’s also a great example of Scopoletti’s talent for creating tension that builds into big choruses.

The title track is one of the album’s many memorable cuts. It’s powered by the rock-solid beat of drummer John Giamara, and it has a chorus that could be a singalong for a live crowd. “Circles” is one of several tunes (“Tomorrow,” “Crazy Girl”) that are radio-ready for a broader Adult Alternative audience.

CSB delivers soaring rock that fits current musical trends yet brings to mind great pop rock (with the emphasis on rock) of decades past. Circles is a solid collection of songs with not a bad one in the bunch. It would be interesting to hear Scopoletti play these numbers at one of his solo gigs listed on the band’s web site.

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