Keaton Stromberg is a young artist from Washington State who recently released an album entitled The Simple Life. Stromberg’s music is unequivocally pop music. There is no arguing that. It’s bubble gum style summer songs that are often optimistic and catchy. I noticed some influence right off the bat from a myriad of artists
The album is self-produced and I think he did a great job in this department. He invested in some good gear and the proof is in the pudding. Up first is the very FM radio friendly sounding title track. The song is very catchy but certainly veers towards more mainstream tendencies. It's a matter of taste and you will know quickly if you appreciate it or not.
The influence from Passion Pit is more noticeable on “Never Getting Older” which pops with a similar energy that is exuberant and hopeful. Even though what he sings is utterly false it feels appropriate for the song.
He sings “We’re never getting older ‘Cause we’ll be young forever Let’s live tonight.” He continues with infectious pop songs like “The Best of Me” but does throw in some melancholy with the sparse “Afraid of the Unknown.” The synth influenced “Marching On” which sounds more like Cvurches might be too much of a leap in style from the “Afraid of the Unknown.” “Won't Give Up” is about as poppy as you can get while “My Everything” and “You Will Not Be Forgotten” are sparse singer/songwriter type songs.
Stromberg certainly showcases some talent for such a young guy but there are still some things he can improve upon. I’d like to see him find a way to make the solo acoustic guitar song blend more with the poppy songs inspired by bands like Cvurches and Passion Pits. It feels like two different artists or at least material that should be presented on different albums.
The thing I would like to hear more of is his individual sound. He follows a lot of tropes and I was having a hard time finding elements that really identified his sound. All that being said he is a really good songwriter. He has that part down and he can sing as well. The hard part which many musicians never achieve is finding that unique X-factor that will separate them from the crowd.
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