Scott Ballard is no newcomer to the music scene. He was in bands such as The Freefall, The KJO Radio Band and August Underground and is also a music teacher at a local college. Ballard recently released Good Fruit Costs a bit More which at the end of the day is a pop album. Most of the songs feel light, acoustic and are easy to appreciate. Ballard’s songwriting is simple yet effective. He utilizes basic chord progressions and familiar structures that work to his advantage.
In terms of production and recording quality everything sounds top notch from the low end to the amount of reverb he places on his vocals. Suffice it to say these songs are radio ready.
First up is “Hail’ which starts off with his vocals and acoustic guitar. It is apparent right away that Ballard has a good voice. He sings, “Please don’t follow me / Provide some space and I will Hail, Hail oh tonight /I’ve heard of stubborn pride / and we’ll lose all tonight if we Hail, / If only for tonight / And we’ll prove.” The song starts to feel inspirational and hopeful but is also quite dynamic when it chooses to push towards a crescendo.
Up next is “He Said” which is loose, upbeat and has more of a happy go lucky vibe. The chorus is great when he sings, “Oh oh man, Amen / Oh oh man, Amen.” There are definitely some religious overtones but it doesn’t feel overt.
“Conscript Me” on top of being well written contains well-placed orchestral strings while “Turned My Life Around” is almost hyperbolically optimistic. He closes with “Normal Life” which is arguably the highlight on the EP. I was reminded of The Lumineers when listening to it and it is a song that you could imagine people really enjoying in a live environment.
Good Fruit Costs a bit More is a swift EP that goes by quickly. The songs are the type that can work in almost any circumstance. You can play them at a party, listen to them while preparing breakfast or even when working out.
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