English singer/songwriter Nigel Collyer has been making music on his own for several years now and like most aspiring musicians he plays multiple instruments including guitar, keyboards, etc. He also, like so many novice musicians working in the world today, crafted some home studio recordings, doing a little of this and a little of that. But something or other made him get more serious about his music, serious enough to write and record an album and then had it professionally mastered.
The result of this is his proper debut All of the Above, which combines Collyer’s love of music from the ‘70s and ‘80s and combines a bit of experimental flair thrown in for good measure. The record opens with “Lee Van Cleef” a spaghetti western inspired rock tune complete with that famous whistling sound that is the genre’s calling card. At the first spin of the tune I thought it was both funny and a bit hokey, but then I found it’s catchy chorus and chunky rock riff stuck in my craw and really began to dig it. Collyer changes is up for the ‘80s animatronic sounding space exploration of “For All Mankind” which is equally head bobbing in that Talking Heads sort of way.
He returns to the country western vibe but with a bit more fervor on the twangy and upbeat “A Blameless Life” which takes its cues from guys like Elvis and Jerry Lewis and the happier side of Chris Isaac’s California rock. Collyer employs his love for tongue and cheek story driven songs like on the voyeuristic and bluesy rocker “Behind the Blinds.”
There is another side to All of the Above which comes in the form of the instrumental. Collyer definitely sounds more at home in this phase of the album, letting the music speak for itself instead of having to be the storyteller, forging worlds of words, which isn’t always his strongest suit on this record. Take the last song, “Oceans End” with its ups and downs of brooding instrumentation and sound effects. This is where Collyer is at his best.
With All of the Above, Nigel Collyer seems most at home when he’s mashing up multiple musical styles and making them gel and this may be the area he should focus on and perhaps bring in different vocalists to add some depth to the songs he wants to have vocals. Either way All of the Above is a solid debut and definitely worth a few spins
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook