Raw Review

artist: Garett Spencley date: 09/21/2006 category: compact discs
Garett Spencley: Raw
Release Date: 2006
Genres: Rock
Number Of Tracks: 12
This is the album that moves from a Satriani-esque sound through Latin grooves reminiscent of Carlos Santana to a very classic rock sound verging on blues that puts this reviewer in mind of B.B. King.
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 7.8
 Overall Impression: 9
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reviews (4) user comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
Raw Reviewed by: Unstable_Mind, on august 28, 2006
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: A sound that truly transcends the genres and terms usually applied to music reviews. But then you would expect nothing less of the man continuously voted UG's best guitarist. An album that moves from a Satriani-esque sound through Latin grooves reminiscent of Carlos Santana to a very classic rock sound verging on blues that puts this reviewer in mind of B.B. King. Truly an aural feast. From the opening salvo of the aptly named Celestial Serenade through the album highlights of Crystal Eyes and Sonic Elation to the glorious ending of Night-Out this is an album not to be used as background music but to be truly enjoyed and appreciated. This is an indie album in the truest sense of the word. In that it was recorded and published by the artist and yet this does not hamper the quality of the production one bit. The sound quality as well as the CD packaging are of a standard that one would expect from a major record label without any of the inherent hawking of ringtones or merchandise. // 9

Lyrics: This is a mostly instrumental album, although on Crystal Eyes when lyrics are used it only adds a greater depth to the album and it would be hoped that the artist will add vocals to more songs for future releases. The singing itself is not up to Jeff Buckley standard (and who is) but then that never stopped Bob Dylan or the Spice Girls. // 8

Overall Impression: This is really a great album, one that I would surely recommend to my friends. It manages to Rock (yes, Rock with a capital "R") without being obnoxiously loud or losing a sense of melody. A nice break from the current standard of over-produced pathetic rock music and another clear sign that independant music is far from being dead. Raw by Garett Spencley is a album that rewards to listener and is a very worthwhile way to spend ~45 minutes. You will not regret buying this album. // 9

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overall: 8.7
Raw Reviewed by: Rankles, on august 30, 2006
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: Garett Spencley lets a wide variety of influences show through on his debut album, ranging from guitar virtuosos such as Steve Vai through to Santana and a few other familiar styles mixed together to create something refreshingly original. With 'Raw', you have an album that anyone with an interest in just what guitar music is all about will find both fascinating and inspirational. Whilst some solo guitarists often become repetitive through their own style, Spencley doesn't restrict himself to any one type of music but instead simply seems to play what he feels without losing the recurring character of his playing. What you end up with therefore is an album with a distinctive voice which doesn't repeat itself. // 9

Lyrics: Only one song on this mainly instrumental album, Crystal Eyes has vocals. The very Cobainesque singing of Spencley help make the one vocal track something special amid a sea of instrumentation. This is certainly an area he should probably develop further in the future, but for now Crystal Eyes remains an idea of the future potential of the artist. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall this is an album for musicians. Where the casual music listener may be turned off by the emphasis on instrumentation, the majority of musicians, especially guitarists, will not be disappointed with the relaxed, yet always powerful guitar work of Garett Spencley. 'Raw' is a must have for anyone who appreciates what it is to play the guitar. // 9

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overall: 8.3
Raw Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 04, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album has an all around extremely tight feel to it, showing the maturity, experience, and prowess of the artist (Garett). The songs have a level of depth, ambience, and response that would usually only be expected from completely professional virtuoso, i.e. Satriani or Johnson. True to the album's name, this album has a very 'raw' and 'real' sound to it, making it seem all-the-more accessable to the average listener, and much more "personal". Garett shows his many different influences throughout the album, such as the song "Solana", which could easily fit right next to the ranks of Carlos Santana's "Europa", or "Moonflower". "The Union" shows an interesting and unique aspect of Garetts phrasing and song-structuring abilities, while "Old School" is a track that continues to develop. Finally, the album would not be complete without the completely beautiful finishers "Alice" and "Night Out", "Alice" being a work that can surely stand strongly against any criticism anyone might have to offer. // 9

Lyrics: While the album is primarily an instrumental album, Garett belts out a few lines of lyrics on "Crystal Eyes". The style of singing and whatnot only further add to the album's 'Raw' feeling. Garett seems to take the same approach as Joe Satriani when it comes to lyrics: keep it simple, yet make it effective. Also, this is reminiscent of Nirvana, a large influence according to garett. // 7

Overall Impression: This is an outstanding album, especially for a first album from a home musician. While there are certain songs that stand out amongst the rest, such as "Alice", "Night Out", and "The Union", the album remains a well-balanced being worthy of equal respect and admiration throughout it's works. // 9

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overall: 9
Raw Reviewed by: FrenchyFungus, on september 21, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: As someone who doesn't normally listen to instrumental music, I was surprised at how easy, and fun, to listen to this record is. Weighing in at 12 songs and minutes long, Raw is a journey through musical genres, taking in everything from jazz to, dare I say it, shred. The guitar is obviously the weapon of choice in all the songs, although Spencley does open his mouth to sing on one song, Crystal Eyes. He also plays bass on the album, with drumming duties taken care of by Aaron Apter. The guitar solos are superb throughout, always full of emotion, always full of technical skill, but rarely even verging on wankery. This, in my opinion is due to Spencley's many influences, with the blues being especially prominent in many of the lead lines. // 10

Lyrics: As said above, there is only one song on here with lyrics, yet that song is not far off being my favourite on the record. The lyrics are simplistic but meaningful, whilst his voice is very original sounding, and cool too. Best described as the love child of Michael Stipe and Kurt Cobain, with an almost punk edge to it, it makes for very good listening. // 8

Overall Impression: An unbelievably great guitar tone, combined with very powerful lead guitar to make this an album for all guitarists to enjoy. It makes for awesome background music, and I can certainly see it being something I'll put on while studying. My personal favourite songs are Night Out, Carissa's Lullaby and Crystal Eyes, and I love the sheer variety of the songs on this album. A must have. // 9

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