Monday, February 25, 2008

CD of the Day, 2/25/08: Kevin Bents-The Means

It's been a while since I had some quality singer-songwriter pop to recommend, but thanks to NYC's Kevin Bents, I no longer have to wait as his solo debut The Means is an assured collection of melodic gems that will appeal to fans of David Mead, Freedy Johnston and Josh Rouse. Bents has worked with Mitch Linker and the Day Traders as well as Saul Zonana, so he keeps good company.

Opener "Givin' It All Away (For Jeff)" is a nice acoustic number, but Bents really hits it out of the park with "Heart of Hearts", a lovely pop tune with a kind of Bacharach feel. The more rocking "My Love Save The Day" follows with a sound reminiscent of his buddy Zonana and has the instant catchiness that would make it a hit in an alternative universe that appreciated this kind of music. Elsewhere, "Fool on the Moon" is a pretty Beatlesque ballad, "Writing on the Wall" is a peppy uptempo number that has a hint of R&B, and "Good Life" is one of the better Donald Fagen/late-period Steely Dan tributes/pastiches/soundalikes that you'll hear (the auctioneer that appears two-thirds of the way through is an interesting touch). It's an excellent record from a real talent, and here's hoping you'll find The Means to pick up a copy.

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Curt McLey said...

What an insanely good recommendation. I absolutely loved all three songs on myspace. How often can one say that about a new artist the first time through his songs? I like David Mead and Freedy Johnston, so I had to hear this guy and I wasn't disappointed. (I'm on my fifth time through his songs.) The car horn in "Heart of Hearts" cracks me up. I also hear some Simon and Garfunkel influence and even some Beach Boys in one of the songs. There's many other nods to other artists ... maybe England Dan and John Ford Coley? Anyway, good stuff. Thanks for putting it out there.

Anonymous said...

The Means is an excellent album that holds up extremely well to repeated listenings. In addition to the songs highlighted in the review, "I Don't Want to Lose" and "Only You Only Me" are personal favs. You should buy this album.

Jim Rhodes said...

I need to get more info about this album. Is it worth buying? I would like to know that.