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Reviews: Charlie Lang ~ Turn The Music On|
Posted on Saturday, October 08, 2005 @ 06:49:06 UTC
Artist: Charlie Lang
CD: Turn the Music On
Home: Upstate New York
Style: Pretty Pop
Quote: "Lang may sound like a throwback to 70s soft rock, yet he never comes across as dated or irrelevant here."
By Dan MacIntosh
Your first glance at Charlie Lang, with that shaved dome and goatee of his, may make you think of a prison thug. Or, at the very least, an Oakland Raiders fan. But the empathetic songs of Turn The Music On, however, put Lang a whole lot closer (musically, that is) to a male Carole King (which is a good thing) instead.
Lang may sound like a throwback to 70s soft rock, yet he never comes across as dated or irrelevant here. Relying heavily upon keyboard-based arrangements, these songs speak openly and honestly about real human feelings. He titles one track “Oversensitive World,” even though Lang might just be a little too sensitive for this planet himself (don't let his look fool you, friend). Another track is called “World’s Tears.” Both tunes are "big picture" sorts of ruminations, although straightforward love songs are also significant cards in Lang’s lyrical deck. “I hunger, hunger for you,” he sings over the rippling piano notes of “Hunger.” This track, as well as a few others here, also includes nice saxophone touches.
There’s an underlying earnestness to what Lang does, which makes the breezy upbeat jazziness of “Oceans Away” such a nice change of pace. “Queen Of Desire” is another stylistic side road, as it trades in this work's piano focus for a touch of Journey-ish guitar rock. On this latter one, Lang sings it in a significantly lower vocal register.
Even Steven Levee (which is actually how he is listed on the CD credits) expertly produced this project. Although there are many, many elements incorporated within, everything here fits still together nearly perfectly. Thankfully, Turn The Music On gives this world an overdue lesson in sensitivity training.
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