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CD REVIEW: Kyle Alden - Hello again kind stranger
By Ivan Nossa - 02/26/2011 - 02:30 PM EST

Artist: Kyle Alden
Album: Hello again kind stranger
Genre: Americana, Folk, Acoustic
Sounds Like: James Taylor, Shawn Mullins
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Silence is silver, Hollywood sign, Buckeye song, Pay no mind
Weakness: He could dare more
CD Review: Kyle Alden is a singer/guitarist from San Francisco with roots in the San Francisco Irish music community. He also writes his own songs. He has a long musical history and has been playing guitar since the 1990s for top Irish musicians.

From his website we also learn that he has been writing and performing his songs since the early eighties, as a bass player in the punk band called (ironically) The Young Republicans. Currently Kyle performs solo and with a talented band featuring Robert Powell, guitar; Scott Thunes, bass and Howie Cort, drums. “You could call his music Americana, though Californiana might be a more accurate label”, says Australian journalist Bob Johnston.

Kyle actually plays with two bands: The Mild Colonial Boys, and is the newest member of the traditional Irish music band The Gas Men.

His new cd is a collection of 11 original songs that spam from pop to country, from West Coast to rock all in area of American music. The mood is intimate and warm. His voice especially makes you feel at home when you listen to his compositions. He gives his best when he approaches acoustic slow ballad. “Pay no mind” is an excellent example of a great acoustic tune.

Sometimes I just wish he would dare more with his singing and writing because it is clear he has great talent.

“Silence is silver” is my favorite track  with its soft feeling of travelling and telling stories. The song writing is excellent. The arrangements simple and direct let you discover the essence of his songs.

His lively and brilliant guitar is always the protagonist of the play. The lyrics fit perfectly the music and Kyle voice making the listening of this cd a West Coast journey through the spiritual wanderings of a modern traveller.

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