Noel Webb, Journey With Me
For those of you not in the jazz-rock loop, Noel Webb’s choice of weaponry is the electric violin and while it is obvious he is a very talented musician; he is unfortunately, hell-bent on bringing the instrument to the masses.
Of the five songs on Journey With Me, only the title track and “Come Close, I Will Hold You” stay close to his contemporary jazz influences and they sit nicely soaked in romantic rock grooves. Webb’s attempt at Led Zeppelin’s classic “Kashmir” is surprisingly solid, as his distorted violin fits quite well – but the band adds nothing new to the arrangement.
The last two tracks are the weakest of the bunch. “You Really Need to Grow” is the group trying for “hard hip-hop beats” (as it says on the bio) but comes off really cheesy; especially with weak lyrics like, “Coldplay tells me what to do, Not thinkin’ for yourself”. Where does this come from? I guess it has to do with Coldplay’s band politics – but has a Coldplay song ever made you second guess your political values? This line could have very easily been about U2 or Bruce Springsteen – why single out one band? The album ends with the euro-dance track “Scream” and is an embarrassing attempt at sounding current.
Noel Webb is a very talented player and I’m impressed with his confidence in the instrument – but these songs just feel dated and I don’t think the instrument translates well to anything else but jazz. (Red Lab Records) ~ 2 Star