Billy Redfield is a singer/songwriter from New York City who writes music that feels radio-ready and something that will appeal to a mass audience. It has a mainstream quality that could be seen as a plus or a detriment depending on how you look at it. His music has a triumphant “I can take on the world” type feeling that a band like U2 has demonstrated in the last couple of years. In fact I would say that his music sounds like a mix between U2, Doves and non -offensive commercial rock.
Redfield is an accomplished songwriter and he knows how to write a tune that the general public will enjoy, if not embrace. I have to admit it that it often feels like he plays it too safe between the predictable lyrics and verse- chorus- verse type structures. That being said there were a couple of songs that won me over.
The album Waiting on the Good Life starts with one of the highlights called “Nocturnal Dream.” I thoroughly enjoyed the 30 seconds of ambience before the song explodes with the full band. You are presented with drums, a pleasant voice and a delayed guitar riff that sounds like something The Edge from U2 would have come up with. I really enjoyed the music on “Sweetest Thing” but found it hard to get past the lyrics, which paint an Elizabethan portrait of the perfect companion.
“California Sun” feels like the title. It beams with positive energy that is bound to put a smile, or at least a grin, on your face. He sings, “California where have you been cause I’ve been looking for a new place to live. The weather’s so good. It feels so nice walking down the beach in paradise.” So yeah the lyrics aren't particularly deep and they are about the weather but it works. One of my favorites was “Steamroller,” which had a little more grit, blues and rock ‘n roll than some of the previous songs, A steady organ and lead guitar create a jig-worthy canvas for him to sing over.
It was obvious after listening to this album that Redfield knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s creating music that will reach as many people as possible. The lyrics, structure, themes as well as production sit well in the mainstream arena of pop rock.
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