Ted Hajnasiewicz is an artist from MInnesota who says he “driven to write the perfect song.” As a musician myself for the last couple of decades that makes perfect sense to me. You are always trying to find that perfect sequence of sound and even though you might get close, it never can be “perfect.” Hajnasiewicz's recent release Tony Wanted to Make a Record is a big sounding album with an impressive array of musicians. The full lineup is Ted Hajnasiewicz (vocals/guitars/keys/mandolin/whistle), Tom Carlon (bass), Katianna Carlon (vocals), Mike Arturi (drums), David Falbo (harmonica/guitars), Tobias Wilson (pedal steel/dobro) and Tony Preston (guitar).
This album felt drenched in Americana to my ears. There are some songs which have a lot of movement and others which are ballads. Either way you cut it I found the songs moving and very polished. The production and recording quality was top notch.
The album begins with the invigorating “Lethal Dose” which revolves around distorted guitars, a driving rhythm section and impressive vocals. It’s a straightforward song with catchy vocals and the American spirit of this song is undeniable. I thought it started the album with a bang.
Up next is “Darlin’ What About Me” which features some gorgeous vocal harmonies. It’s not easy to find male and female vocals that sound this good together. The pedal steel creates a reflective mood to the song that could bring a tear to your eye.
Things start to feel more hopeful on “Fly” but this is also a slow burn. It revolves around the female vocals and male vocals but they are separate for most of the song. “Blinded” is anthem rock. It brings up the energy and is a fun song while still feeling meaningful.
“F.R.O.G” is again reflective and perhaps more melancholy than anything else at least in terms of the mood I was feeling. That being said it seems to be more about solace when you listen to the lyrics. The end of “Drive - Thru World” might be my favorite song. I especially enjoyed the atmospheric ending. Hajnasiewicz closes with the nostalgic, pensive and warm “Some Sunday Afternoon.”
This is a great album. It’s cohesive, seamless and emotionally resonant. Recommended.
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