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CD Review: b. d. Gottfried – ‘The Third Disturbance’
By Francesco Emmanuel - 02/02/2007 - 06:25 PM EST

Artist: b.d. Gottfried
Album: ‘The Third Disturbance’
CD Review: So, it’s pop/rock – in a sense, with catchy guitar hooks, simple but steady beats and a voice that has a 50’s feel with an 80’s pop style.

This is b.d. Gottfried’s 4th solo album, entitled ‘The Third Disturbance’ – I’m not too sure what’s the story behind it, but it is a rather eclectic one. The record is a mix of new wave, pop/rock with a hint of blues. It’s not a slow paced album at all; the tracks are mostly bouncy, with quirky lyrics and instantly likeable melody lines.

Bill Gottfried’s voice can be viewed sort of along the lines of Talking Heads and Rush, his melodies are a bit unique, but he sings with conviction.

The artwork is truly umm….unusual to say the least; it will definitely get your attention. And there are some rather interesting song titles as well. Bill is surely going against the pop music grain here, and I must say – I like it.

The record certainly stands out, on many levels. Musically, these guys know what they’re doing; this is not a bubble-gum cheese pop record that you’ll forget next year, this is a collection of well written songs, arranged such that the most simple of ideas stand out.

These guys can play, and the music isn’t over-exaggerated either to bore anyone. It’s very well produced, the mix is not flat at all, but it’s not ‘over-fluffed’ either, there is a variation among songs. Some tracks are rather basic – bass, drums, guitar, whereas others have string arrangements like ‘Whisper Gasoline’ which closes off the album, a rather contemplative track with moody changes, intricate guitar work and haunting piano lines.

Most songs average under four (4) minutes, they get to the point rather quickly, which is what makes this album very accessible from early on. The music is direct. The entire album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Bill’s own Cyberaudio studios in Kitchener, Ontario.

All songs were written by Bill Gottfried. On this album Bill handles vocals, percussion and keyboards and is joined by George Chaggares on guitar and Jack Smith on bass. Lyrics and vocals on ‘Blue & Red’ and ‘In Silence’ are supplied courtesy of Aaron Gottfried and blends in nicely with the rest of the album.

‘Hong Kong Freddie & Lipo Louise’ is a name of a song if you can believe it, but it has a steady groove, and a cool guitar lick at the end of the chorus. ‘Strange Character’ is another one that has a nice timing change between verse and chorus, and a well arranged overlapping of harmonies, and some really subtle, trippy guitar licks. ‘Sweet Decay’ is straight up rock ‘n roll, with a slower beat, but the guitar lines seem to almost float suspended in the verse, holding out until the double harmonies kick in for the chorus.

Overall the album does not belong in the modern world of rock or pop, or dance, or punk – which I think is great, it forges its own niche. It’s a well put-together new wave, rock ‘n roll record that reminisces of the late 80’s/ early 90’s but has a new millennium feel to it. Personally, I think it should be a favorite on most radio stations. It has play-ability (if that’s a word) and when next Bill plays Toronto, I wanna be there.

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