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CD REVIEW: Mister Fred - Golden Age
By Dan Cohen - 01/10/2013 - 07:15 PM EST

Artist: Mister Fred
Album: Golden Age
Genre: Blues/Jazz
Sounds Like: Boz Scaggs, Chicago, Dap Kings, Bob Seger
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Keeping Time
CD Review: Mister Fred has crafted a good time party album with sharp tunes, great production, and a good vibe. Songs like Betty and Green Impala, with their horn sections and roadhouse vibe, are like pulling into a Vegas nightclub circa 1974. Rosa has got almost a girl group feel. Keeping Time is my favorite, starting out as a kind of jazzy soul number and then moving into a free jazz breakdown that's as refreshing as it is unexpected. It's the kind of thing that a 70's record exec would have said "i like the song, but what the f""" did you do in the middle?" but in this day and age, it feels like a surprising and interesting choice. Production by Andy Bassford is stellar throughout, great horn section, and arrangements continually surprise, like the Zappa-like break in Rosa. Like the Green Impala he sings about, Mister Fred is a comfortable car, but he'll take you down some strange and interesting roads.

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