Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review: Adam Ezra Group "View From the Root"

The Adam Ezra Group is an organic roots rock band creating quite the buzz in Boston and beyond. They've opened for John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Cracker, and more, building a steady following along the way. After listening to their first release, "View From the Root", I can happily add my name to this following.

"View From the Root" contains a bounty of tracks - 17 in all - but it feels like a split record to me. The first half strikes me as the proper studio release, but the latter half feels more like a rarities and outtakes disc. While some of the more experimental or stripped down tracks on the tail end of the CD have their charm, I think that more often than not I'm going to stop the CD at track 8. One cool experience, however, was the genuine coffeehouse feel of "She's Just A Girl", recorded live and preceded by a spoken word intro.

So let's get to the highlights. The best song for me is the opener, "Katie", a sweet and innocent appeal that finds the band at their synergistic best. This one is followed by a string of excellent root rock tunes that maintain a contagious sense of melody and leave you feeling upbeat. "Half A Hero" and "Vision" will make you move and "Have We Met" and "Another Sunshine" will make you groove. Another thing I like about Adam Ezra Group is that they are lyrically smart, whether it be through the use of clever word play to jazz up mundane love songs or their bold dives into deeper subject matter (check out "Basement Song"). Numerous times on the dics Adam seems to be writing vocal checks he just can't cash, which might be helped in the future if the band works more effective harmonies into the mix. But all in all, "View From the Root" is a terrific debut from a smart band with great chops and a bright future.

I recommend the Adam Ezra Group if you like Glen Phillips, Edwin McCain, or Todd Snider.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8

Adam Ezra Group on MySpace. Official site.

1 comment:

Ruthie P said...

I became a fan of Adam Ezra Group the first time I saw them on a Boston harbor boat cruise. I have both versions of View from the Root - love them both! Unlike Bill, I find this to be one of those rare albums where I enjoy *all* the songs! There is not a single one I ever skip over.
Listen to the CD, by all means, and get yourself to a show. The CD cannot capture all the energy of AEG rockin' out on stage!