Albert Promenade is the alias for Keith Washington. He recently released an album entitled On The Rocks. The music doesn’t fit into the underground and also doesn’t fit into the mainstream. I consider that a good thing.
The songs can fit under the label of pop and you can also make a case for soft rock. I would say a majority are well written and at the center of these songs are his vocals and synths. The synths are sometimes well done and can sometimes veer on the side of cheesy. I really liked his voice throughout.
The main issue I had with the album was the production and recording quality, which was hit and miss. In particular I felt the drums were hardly there on some of the songs. I could barely make out a bass drum and the rest of the kit felt depleted of energy. The low end in general needed to be beefed up big time along with the snare drum. There were other songs where Washington’s vocals sat on top of the mix rather than in it. Although better production would have helped the initial impact of some of these songs some of the songwriting shines through.
Take for instance the opener “Sing” which is a poppy, catchy song that has some resemblance to Joy Division. In fact there are times where Washington sounds a bit like Ian Curtis. “Where Were You?” has a different vibe completely. There are a lot of frequencies missing from the song, making it sound as if it's being played out of a laptop.
Despite this Washington sounds good in the singing department and has a bit of a Bowie vibe on this track. “Carry On” is another testament to Washington's vocals. He sings, “When your hope is strong you can carry on / But when I look you're faraway / Ah baby, night and day I feel you pulling away / I fall and die to hear you cry / He said what you wanted to hear / And there’s so many things I should have said.”
There is a slight Roxy Music vibe on “Locked Door” while “Nothing Matters More Than This” sounds hyperbolically upbeat as if everything could change in an instant. As the album progresses “Waiting For The Day” and “Even So” were highlights.
On The Rocks has some mishaps but does have enough enjoyable moments. Hopefully, next time around there can be a bump up in the recording quality.
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