Shock Ray Blue is the moniker for Adam Robson. He is based out of San Francisco and creates lo-fi acoustic music. His songs don't feel like a typical singer/songwriter type. I don't see him slumped over his guitar trying to spew out songs about lost love and hurt emotions. The songs on his album Grin feel carefree and unpretentious which makes them very attractive. Take for instance the song “home to me” which revolves around a simple but catchy vocal line that carries the song. The Magnetic Fields come to mind when I listen to these songs.
The album starts off with “south california” in which the best thing about the song is obviously the warm sounding trumpet. It sounds pretty darn smooth as it lightly treads above the guitar. The trumpet playing does stop there but is revisited on a number of songs. Thank god. I was impressed by the vocal work and harmonies on “(a whisper out west). While the vocal work was minimal I like that they were distant rather than right in your face like a lot of other acoustic music. “Peeling oranges” might be a contender to be placed in a Quentin Tarantino movie if the productionon the song was improved while “1991” is a fun song that is infectiously catchy.
Ultimately, the recording quality really starts to affect the songs. It’s a shame because there are some really great songs here that I would have really enjoyed if they were just a bit less rough around the edges. Hopefully on his next effort he can find a way to get some decent mics to improve the quality of the recordings.
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