Release code: ODI3015307
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Release Info: Ernie Halter - Starting Over (2008)
Artist: Ernie Halter Title Of Album: Starting Over Year Of Release: 2008 Label: Rock Ridge Music Genre: Acoustic Pop Rock, Folk Total Time: 37:28 min Format: FLAC (tracks +.cue, log-file) Quality: Lossless Total Size: 246 mb
Review by William Ruhlmann When a recording artist titles an album Starting Over, as several have, it comes as a clear statement of intent. In the case of neo-blue-eyed soulman Ernie Halter, that statement seems to have been intended as a personal one. "The new record is called Starting Over for a reason," Halter is quoted as saying in a press release. "I wanted the title to be direct, simple, and set the tone for the album. In this past year, I experienced the unraveling of my marriage and the birth of my first son." To be sure, those are momentous events in anyone's life. But the songs on Starting Over and the manner in which they are performed do not justify the title. Although the disc begins with "Different Lives," a breakup song, most of the songs are about happy love, not sad, and none are about childbirth. (Arguably, the final song, "Lighthouse," could be a father's declaration of support for a child, but it really sounds like another romantic love song.) And Halter certainly is not starting over in terms of musical approach. Most of the descriptions that were applied to his last album, Congress Hotel, apply here, too. Stevie Wonder still rules as a primary influence (in particular, "Blue Dress" has some of the vocal feel of "Boogie on Reggae Woman"), and among contemporary performers, John Mayer still bears holding up for comparison. Halter does introduce a suggestion of South African mbaqanga music in "Crazy Love," but for the most part this is the music of a white boy in love with '70s mainstream R&B. He sounds more distinctive when he strips away the instrumentation, as he does, for example, on "Lighthouse," employing only a piano. But instead of calling the album Starting Over, he should have called it "Steady as She Goes." TRACKLIST: 01. Different Lives (03:56) 02. Try (03:20) 03. Blue Dress (03:10) 04. Count The Days (03:28) 05. My Heart Is With You (03:16) 06. Pretty Girl (03:44) 07. Just Friends (03:20) 08. Crazy Love (04:07) 09. Cyclone (02:48) 10. Played (02:30) 11. Lighthouse (03:43)
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