Newcomer singer/songwriter BC Campbell's Now's The
Time resonates with clever writing and music lines but fails
to take it to the next level by owning the space he occupies.
Not for lack of trying or talent, simply that BC Campbell falls
into the common trap of filling out his material in the studio,
where otherwise there was nothing. Drastically subject to the
will of the producer, the songs can go in any direction; heightening
the emotional content or conversely, crippling the essence to
the point of hobbling the music. This is just another case of
where the excellent songwriting is lost in the production, and
as a result the album just suffers.
Stylistically, BC writes jazzy funky rock which seems to be more
at home in the Atlanta or New Orleans areas, kind of like a mixing
of Dropsonic and Grant Lee Phillips. Moreover, he
does it well, nailing a marketable niche that could launch him
into the stratosphere if only it were captured better. If only
The whole album is testament to the "If only" statements
that all could have been avoided with an apt producer, taking
the time to meld the almost perfect songs into an entity that
could stand by itself. Instead we are left with an album where
the production worsens the content.
Right from track one, you can tell the songs were written solely
for the guitar; you can almost imagine with delight the acoustic
shows where it was just artist and guitar, bare and expressive.
That being said, you can hear how after-thought-ish the rest of
the instruments are on the record, rarely achieving that vital
conjunction necessary to carry the music. Now, production is not
completely at fault, some fault lies with the artist for his conception,
but a producer should see that and rein in the sections to create
a better big-picture. The point is: the base is there, but ultimately
it gets lost in the fray.
There are some truly good songs on here in their current state
- "Carcrash Boogie", "I'm Right Here" and
the stark "Happiness" are among my favorites, but there
are so many near hits that it is pitifully depressing. Just a
tweak here, a better peak there, and we are talking a golden album.
I'm talking unstoppable. Now I hope that BC Campbell can latch
on to an award winning producer who can steer him in the direction
he is destined to go, and I will avidly anticipate his next release.
1) How Much
2) Get Down
3) Carcrash Boogie
4) At First
5) I'm Right Here
7) The Noise
10) Everybody Knows Him
11) All Out
12) Soft Tyranny
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