Friday, January 22, 2010

REVIEW: Randy Stern - Give

New York musician Randy Stern has spent the last decade performing with punk/grunge band The Nerve and has recently established himself as a prominent solo performer in the New York music scene. Randy’s new album Give offers well-rounded and captivating performances as Randy defines his solo sound for the first time.

The first track on Give is Deeper and Deeper. It’s evident listening to this opening song that Randy Stern has chops not to be meddled with in this tune similar to that of later Tom Petty tunes.

Better Days has a very 90s pop feel similar to that of Hootie and the Blowfish and Soul Asylum. Once again, though, Stern throws in some classic rock melodies for a new, yet familiar sound.

Rita has kind of an old-timey Johnny Cash feel with walking bass lines and a little bluesy slide guitar thrown in. This track demonstrates early on the diversity that Randy Stern delivers to his audiences.

The Night is probably my favorite song on this album. The chorus is extremely catchy and Stern’s vocal performance is so full of energy and emotion and with a little harmonica thrown in there, you can’t help but like this one.

Give, the title track of the album, shows a little of Randy’s slower side. His voice on this song reminds me of an early Eric Clapton.

The Only Woman is a blues song that seems heavily influence by southern rock legends and gives this track an energetic and authentic bluesy feel.

Into Your Heart takes it down a notch with this emotionally moving song. It’s really impressive how Randy is able to capture so much energy in the vocals while barely letting out a whisper.

Home is just a great song. It brings to mind 90s icons Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen.

Life is Good is an uplifting song and so appropriately titled. It’s a laid back tune that will leave its hook stuck right in your head all afternoon.

Simple, simply isn’t my favorite track. I think it’s a little lacking in energy and, after hearing some of the previous tracks, I feel Randy has more to offer this song than he demonstrates here.

In The Midnite starts out slow, but builds into an epic song that’s just perfect. I couldn’t say enough good things about this track.

Ain’t Dead Yet is a little folk song at the end of the album. This acoustic track is an awesome performance by Stern. It’s nice to hear a more raw approach to his music.

Overall, Give is an awesome addition to any music collection. For fans of 90s pop/rock, classic rock, folk, blues and country, you surely will not be disappointed with this one.

4 out of 5 stars

You can learn more about Randy Stern at

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