When Zak Schaffer started working on his recent release Part Of Your Collection he wanted to make something spontaneous yet simple. He chose a standard rock palette of sounds and got to work. A week later he was done and had ten fleshed out songs that sound mighty good to my ear. Part Of Your Collection is unequivocally one of the best sounding DIY projects I have heard in recent memory. The recordings sound like they were done in a professional studio. Everything is in the place it should be and does not fail where a lot of other DIY efforts do.
In particular, the low end is robust not muddy, the vocals sit within the mix as opposed to on top of it or buried and they achieved a great drum sound (especially the snare). Musically, Schaffer writes pop music than can bear comparisons to artists like Wilco, Tom Petty and even The Byrds. His songwriting is good, sometimes on the verge of great and he has an innate talent for writing a catchy melody whether it is coming from the guitar, bass or vocals.
The production is clean and is filled with warm tones, which make the album feel immediately accessible. Schaffer doesn't put too much distortion on his guitars, which creates a lot of space within the songs for the other instruments to breathe. The album kicks off with “Sorry That You Fell,” which is one of the highlights on the album. Schaffer pulls off some of his catchiest vocal melodies that feel familiar but sound great. It doesn't waste any time going from verse to chorus and back to verse while being incredibly infectious.Shaffer sings “Don't remind me / Stay behind me / Don't come after me / 'Cause I'm sorry that you fell / Sorry that it's hell / Sorry That You Fell For Me.”
“You Bring the Sun” is an upbeat, festive song that combines a start and stop guitar riff, synths, drums and bass while “Right Outside” is a backdoor acoustic song that brings to mind The Grateful Dead. Shaffer closes with the most beautiful song on the album entitled “Lorraine.” It contains no more than acoustic guitar and his vocals but it delivers an emotionally resonant performance that stays with you after it’s done.
There really isn’t a dud on the album. I had my favorites but none that felt out of place or were poorly written. Part Of Your Collection” is a solid album from top to bottom - check it out.
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