Bill Fennell is an Illustrator in the Boston area who has been recording and performing music for several years now and recently released The Awakening. Fennell mixes various styles of rock and more on this album. One thing for certain is that there is some attitude on the album. Fennell’s vocal delivery is passionate and enthusiastic whether he is playing southern blues or something else you wouldn’t expect.
He opens with “The Human Condition” which I thought was the clear highlight of the album. I thought the sax with the clean guitars sounded great. I’m not sure why there wasn’t more of that on the album. The background vocals and sax give the song a dreamy quality. Fennell’s vocals feel like a knife through butter when he sings. There are direct and delivered with confidence. He sings, “We've got everything we need but we're so unsatisfied reflection of our instinct, why is this where happiness resides?”
Up next is “Illegal.” This has a classic southern blues rock feel. The song feeds cliches and tropes a little more than the opener. There are also a number of guitar solos and they could have benefited from a couple of more significant changes along the way.
“Ignorance” has two guitars that are reminiscent of Guns N Roses. The song “Lies” came to mind as I was listening to the lead guitar. On top of that the song is also one of the highlights on the album. Fennell’s delivery is less aggressive and serves the song well.
I’m not sure what was happening with “Mr PSA - Take You Home.” It a hip-hop song that comes out of nowhere. Suffice it to say it felt out of place. Along the way there are some successful attempts and other songs that feel completely random. Take for instance “These Humans” which is an electronic sounding song that sounds more like NIN in a number of ways.
Fennell attempts a lot different genres but instead of fusing them together makes them feel compartmentalized. It makes for a confusing experience when listening from beginning to end. My advice to Fennell would be to build off the sound he had from “The Human Condition.” That was the most original and realized song on the album.
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