Walks of Life – The Same Thing Project, 3.5 out of 5
The Same Thing Project is a unique collaborative comprised of people from all walks of life, including many with intellectual challenges. The project has recorded its first album and the result is both moving and inspiring, a heartening exercise in humanity. And it rocks! It release features superb musicianship, with more than a few killer guitar solos certain to kick out anyone’s jams. Behind the inspired leadership of RI singer-songwriter Mark Cutler, it drives like an early 70’s Stones album, warts and all.
Every song is special… The opener “Common Ground” offers a compelling message of hope and opportunity. “Mama’s Blueberry Pie” turns into a slightly drunken sing-along whereas the jingle jangle hook-laden “Better Days” drives along down a happy road. “Better days are coming, amen to that/Skies will still be blue and we’re never turning back.”
The supporting cast – including many performers with special needs – displays soul and courage. This isn’t just a rock star inviting someone up on stage to join in a song, it’s a grand collaborative endeavor. As cliché as it may sound, it shows that anything is possible. Wanna have some fun?
Give Up – The Call Outs – 4 out of 5
Give Up, a recent release from The Call Outs, offers a full dose of PVD power punk that hangs right up there with the ranks of Gwen Stephani, Liz Phair and Blink 182. These instantly likable songs from the power trio ride straight down a stretch of I95 at 100 MPH – guitar driven, anthem like, with purpose. “Sorry I was careful, sorry you were angry, kinda like it was on tour … When I wake up, California’s in my rear-view,” sings lead vocalist Missa Hill, on “California,” an album highlight. Listen to this release – and don’t except to remain seated!