52nd & Garfield is the latest from Zach Allen. It’s a slight turn in what sounds like a more electric approach to his music. The recordings are still very lo-fi and felt every bit like a home recording.
“Walking Thru Darkness'' is the first song and a song where the lo-fi home recording limitations are more noticeable. The vocals are really on top of the electric fuzzed guitars. I liked some aspects of the song but this really seemed like a style where he might want to head to a studio.
The production and recording quality starts to make turn quickly with “Ghosts.” This song is kind of more of the bread and butter sound I’ve heard before. It’s a little more clean and the vocals seem to be more comfortable and lean towards ’60s folk.
“ILY” is a highlight. Allen’s vocals sound great and the melodies were memorable. The more classic rock inspired type of chorus works really well. “Moon” has a very narrow bandwidth of sound and sort of has this dreamlike quality to it.
“I Will” goes into folk territory and is composed of a couple major and minor chords. It’s a familiar melancholy folk song about regrets and nostalgia. “The Road” is similar in mood to the previous song and tackles similar themes. The most intimate sounding recording is “Better” which is a highlight amongst the batch and also a transplant from his previous albums.
As an engineer myself I do hope Allen works with one at some point in the future. With this release he seems to be spreading his wings into new territory and expanding his palette. I think that’s a good thing and hope he keeps doing that.
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