Mark Esakoff considers the songs off his recent album Esakoff a collaboration with his younger self. This has to do with the fact that he wrote the songs while he was traveling when he was a younger man. How he remembered all these songs I am not sure.
His album is fairly eclectic with solid production. Esakoff mixes it up between pop, rock and some unexpected deviation. The album is a good length. Any longer and it could have dragged and any shorter and it may have felt like more of an appetizer.
Esakoff opens with “Sweet On You” which is reminded me of a ’60s pop song in the essence of a band like The Byrds. I thoroughly enjoyed the vocal harmonies on the song. It has a buoyant, upbeat feel to it and that spews with joy. It was a strong solid opener and merely the start.
Up next is “Found In Paradise” which has got impressive, a slightly psychedelic groove and catchy hooks. Another solid track with some good hook but one of the songs that really stood out to me was “Butterfly Beach.” It’s an instrumental track where his guitar playing really shines. I enjoyed the vibe which is very reflective of the title as well as the other elements in the song.
The thing that stuck out to me on "Butterfly Beach" was the classical guitar playing style. It's unequivocally easy on the ears and just relaxes your muscles as well as soul.
Esakoff returns to a more pop oriented song with “She’s Free” and shows off a little more of his experimental side with the instrumental “Mystified” which was thoroughly enjoyable. “Look At Her Glow” is a certified rocker while “Going To Greece” is an instrumental song with a more bluesy style of guitar.
One of the clear highlights was “Somewhere, Somehow, Something.” It may be his best vocal performance and the music is on point as well. It reminded of The Grateful Dead to some extent. The last two tracks were standouts as well. “My Destiny” is the most contemplative track and had that last track on an album type of feel.
I definitely had preferred tracks on this album. It makes me wonder how spread out the writing was in his younger years. The instrumental tracks were fantastic while the vocal based tracks were more hit than miss for me. That being said the whole album works very well together. It felt fairly cohesive despite the some of the leaps in style.
Overall, this is album well worth exploring. I think Esakoff’s younger self would be proud with what his older self accomplished with these songs.
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