Moon River is the stage name of Kevin Kerr from Bolton, Ontario. Kerr has played in bands and recorded concept solo albums before You Name It, You’re Listening. He plays several instruments and recorded everything for this album himself in his basement. It’s hard to describe Moon River’s sound but there are elements of Beck, The Raconteurs and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers. There is an even mix of rock, punk and funk that makes for a unique listen.
The album begins with “Headphone” which immediately hits you with a ’60s type rock vibe and erratic vocals. It reminded me a little bit of Beck’s first album; cool lazy vocals with a punk attitude and odd lyrics. The track was definitely fun. I could see it in a soundtrack for a goofy teen comedy. I was impressed by the production value, quality and quantity of instruments. Kerr is obviously talented.
The next two songs “Acme Anvil” and “Way Out” were very similar to the first. There’s a lot of repetitive lyrics and a mixture of rock and funk melodies. I loved the vibe and feel of the songs but they all started to run into each other after awhile. Though I did enjoy the trippy guitar solo with the wah wah pedal at the end of “Way Out.”
The sound became a little more distinctive with “Wanna Be a Jackson” and at this point, I was used to the crazy vocals and repetitive choruses. This song had more of a funk sound and the following song “O.W.N. (Wake In)” was very similar. Most of the time it was hard to clearly understand the lyrics although they were fun and catchy.
“Strawberry Blue” had a bit of a slower tempo and again reminded me a little of Beck. I liked the distortions and psychedelic sound towards the end. “Bossofme” had more of an alternative rock sound but the same wild vocals. “Do What You Want” continued down the rock path and probably was my favorite track on the album. I liked the harmonies in the verses and the heavy guitar backings.
The album ended with “More Money” which started with a cool rock intro and lots of electric guitar. This song was more instrumental than the others and took a strange turn towards the end with repetitive lyrics and psychedelic sounds.
You Name It, You’re Listening is an interesting EP. Moon River’s vast ability to play a wide range of instruments gives the album a well-rounded feel. I did find the vocals a little distracting at times and it was frustrating to not be able to understand the lyrics most of the time. A lot of the songs blended together for me and it was hard to tell them apart. A little more distinct melodies or tempos might have changed that. Moon River is an original artist with plenty of talent so I would be interested in future works.
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