I was immediately intrigued by the album art for Here and Now, Billy Reighns’ six-track acoustic rock album. In the upper corner, a one-eyed flower monster appears to be shooting petals at the ominous pyramid eye. This scene is being revealed by a peeled back page, which looks like intricate artwork hidden on one side while a defiant golden fist shines at the bottom, half cut off, but still very much prominent. I was very interested in hearing the music behind such deep artwork.
“Leave Us Alone” kicks off with a jazzy, rhythmically pleasing riff. I like the harsher, classic style vocals. It breaks into a more complex bridge. The bass, which is more prominent during the bridge and chorus, is a very welcome addition to the song and well played.
I really like the title of “Officer, The Cuffs Are Hurting Me.” It craftily juxtaposes calming, groovy music with rebellious lyrical styles and content. The chorus is also very catchy, and I could see someone sitting in handcuffs, screaming the words in protest.
“Landscape Statement (featuring J. Francis)” literally made me pause the song for a moment, because I was not prepared to hear what I heard. In the midst of a generally rock style album is this gem, a classic 80s style hip-hop song with powerful lyrics and a grippingly catchy chorus. The beat is simple but it works incredibly well.
“Ivory” borrows some of the older R&B lyric styles and combines them with refreshing guitar strums and a touch of the island. The vocals are strong, but a touch on the sultry side and is a great choice as the love track of the album.
“Apocalypse Now??” combines jazz bass with heavy/alternative rock guitars and layers it with almost punk-esque vocals to create a strong closing song.
Billy Reighns draws from a range of influences to make an album that is strangely nostalgic yet fresh at the same time. If anything, I wish it were longer – after hearing the potential present here, I wonder what other innovative songs might have been included on a longer album. All in all, this is definitely an enjoyable listen that will see many more plays from me.
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