Peter Nic is one talented twenty-one-year old with a number of musical achievements already under his belt. In 2012 he was selected as a Scholarship Finalist for the James Morrison Generations in Jazz Scholarship and he was awarded Top Jazz Guitar Undergraduate at The Elder Conservatorium of Music. Impressive stuff but I would have to say his debut album Here We Be might surpass those achievements. Here We Be was written, produced, recorded and mixed by Nic himself and the sound quality is something you would expect from a professional studio. Every instrument is clear and works in the mix. Even the drums, which are typically the weakest link in a DIY project sound great.
Here We Be is a pop album but infused with jazz and R&B. Nic’s songs sound commercially viable but have some soul that a lot of mainstream acts like lack. The vocals are pleasant but not mind blowing but the same thing can’t be said for the guitar work. There was a reason he was the top jazz guitar undergraduate and that’s because he is incredible at the guitar. He flexes his technical muscles on a many of songs but you never get the impression he is trying to show off. Everything from his guitar picking to his jaw dropping lead work serves the song. It’s ear candy that sounds great whether you have appreciation for his technical ability or not.
Here We Be is a thick album with twelve songs. Luckily, the journey is pleasant and doesn't take much effort. Throughout the album there are some highlights and well-written gems that I think a lot of people would appreciate. The second track is a funky, soulful song called “Forgive The Silence.” I was grooving to the upbeat vibe, which was smooth and clean. “Outer” features some of the prettiest guitar work on the album. In particular the atmospheric picked guitar that combines with the lead guitar.
The guitar sounds like descending drops of rain on “Now You’re Playing With My Heartbeat.” Nic drops it low like Drake or Babyface. This is certainly a song that will make the ladies swoon. One of my personal favorites was “Starved Heart,” which features some killer lead guitar and revolves around an uncommon time signature.
Here We Be is a strong album all around. Nic seems to be just getting started and this is a good way to do it.
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