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BC Campbell
Now's The Time
Ellis Isle Records

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.


Track listing:
1) How Much
2) Get Down
3) Carcrash Boogie
4) At First
5) I'm Right Here
6) Supermodel
7) The Noise
8) John
9) Happiness
10) Everybody Knows Him
11) All Out
12) Soft Tyranny

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