MP3 Kyle Vincent - Wow & Flutter
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11 MP3 Songs
POP: California Pop, EASY LISTENING: Soft Rock
Kyle Vincent's 'Flutter'-ing Heights
By Gary Shipes
The Stuart News, July 1999
At a time when pop radio's playlists are dictated by fashion, fads and fickle fans' whims, singer Kyle Vincent hopes to return the hummable three-minute pop song to its rightful place on the airwaves.
Vincent's latest album "Wow & Flutter" spellbinds with its collection of hook-filled soft pop, lyrically rich tunes that are neither nostalgic nor retro - just timeless.
But what's really captivating about Vincent's music is that voice. Combining the ringing clarity and pop grandeur of the Hollies' lead singer Allan Clarke, the breathy romanticism of David Cassidy and the dreamy resignation of Bread's David Gates, it's an ear-melting instrument of pure beauty.
Named after distortion levels in speed variations, "Wow & Flutter" registers, from the jangly guitars and tubular bell peals that announce the lush opener "The First Thing On My Mind" to the hypnotic orchestrations that close the soothing "Van Gogh Sunset." Vincent has confidently figured out what direction and niche his musical legacy should follow and fill.
Avoiding the repetitious, empty angst that litters so many singer-songwriter works, Vincent invests his lyrics with an assured eloquence rare for a genre usually ruled by banalities. From "Van Gogh Sunset": "And every house has a lightning rod to save it from the storm. And every porch a cat and dog at night will keep them warm. And how I wish we had stopped peddling a moment to reflect. How everyday would always end with a Van Gogh sunset." With no fanfare, he conjures not only a childhood full of hope and optimism but attempts to place a jewel back in pop's tarnished crown.
"She's Top 40" is a deep bow to both radio's redemptive powers and a potential paramour, with an unforgettable homage to the Raspberries' "Overnight Sensation" stereo trickery tacked mid-bridge. Upbeat rockers, "The Day the World Changed", "Somewhere Between Hello and Goodbye" and "Jennifer" are rollicking summer radio confections. The dreamy ballads "Before the Winter Comes", "No Matter What Will Be" and "Leave it Alone" are melancholia made flesh. "Everyday Thing" pulls out the Philly soul wah-wah guitar and heart-stopping strings for a most soulful diversion. And the stunning "Taking Over Me" has one of the loveliest chord change sequence heard on a pop record in too long.
Unlike most musicians of his generation, Vincent is proudly unhip when influences are referenced.
"I don't listen to artists, I listen to songs," the Berkeley, Calif., native confesses. "I grew up listening to Elton John records with my mother and grandmother in the same room," he recalled in a recent interview. "Three generations enjoying the same music."
The late musician Kevin Gilbert, after working on early Vincent demos, probably best summed up his musical dichotomy when he declared it a collision of "Seals & Crofts meets Climax's 'Precious and Few'."
Vincent finds inspiration in the songs that graced his childhood listening to Casey Kasem's American Top 40 shows, when AM radio was a true democracy. Artists like the Carpenters, Carole King, the O'Jays and Gilbert O'Sullivan were signposts along Vincent's educational music freeway.
But he saves his most idolatrous reverence for the songs of Barry Manilow, whom he had the honor of opening for on Manilow's 1993 Greatest Hits tour.
"He is a god of the pop song - the ultimate balladeer," he rhapsodizes.
But he's aware of Manilow's reputation for what is uncharitably referred to as bombastic schmaltz.
"People rag on me but I don't care," he laughs. "Trust me, the music community always re-christens someone relevant (i.e. Bacharach, Bennett) and he will deservedly have his day."
And, hopefully, with "Wow & Flutter," so will Kyle Vincent.
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