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  •  The Independent Musicians CD Reviews

    Welcome to the Become a CD Reviewer for EVOR!.
    We are opening up the CD review process to anyone that wants to write a professional review. All you need to do is listen to the MP3 files that we provided for the band or artist and write your review.

    Reviews follow a specific format so use the form below to write your review. Once we have published 5 of your CD reviews you will be mailed an official EVOR Reviewer Baseball shirt. They look great and are made in the USA! So pick out any CD listed below, listen to all the MP3 files then write your review.

    The EvO:R CD Review Team

     CD title - Broken Beautiful
    by Five A.M.

    Review by Charles Harrelson

  •    Five A.M. website
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    CD title - Broken Beautiful
    by by Five A.M.
    Review by Charles Harrelson

    Five A.M. is a six piece alternative rock band based in Santa Rosa, California. The band has been under the radar for the last few years. Now they are back better than ever with the release of their fourth CD which is titled Broken Beautiful.

    The band traveled to L.A. to record this release. At the helm is multi-platinum producer John Fields. John has been instrumental in producing works by Switchfoot, Jimmy Eats World, Lifehouse, Goo Goo Dolls, pop act Jonas Brothers, Pink and Miley Cyrun.

    The band also raised the musicial bar by adding keyboard player Jimmy Donaghy to add texture to the bands already dynamic alternative rock sound.

    The CD starts off with a Dav Grohl (Foo Fighters) rocker which demonstrates the bands ability to put it's best foot forward. I love CD's that start off full speed ahead. Many bands try to start off slowly and build up to a major crescendo (or never fully take flight). Not the case with five A.M. The band, under direction of John Fields took a Dog and Butterfly approach on this release.

    What does a Dog and Butterfly (D&B) approach mean?

    During the days of albums and tapes artist's recorded material to fit 20-25 minutes per side. As a result many artist's got a little creative with how each side would play out. Because of this limitation some artists took a D&B approach in recording their album. A few examples I can come up with: The Heart album Dog and Butterfly featured the bands heavy offering Barracuda (the Dog) on side A and the soft rockers like Dog and Butterfly (the butterfly) on side B. Others which come to mind are Todd Rundgren's Utopia featured a live recording on side A and a studio release on side B. Pink Floyd's Ummagumma is a double album, divided into live and studio halves. .

    Five A.M.'s new release is polished and nearly perfect. The vocals are spot on ranging from loud alternative rocker (think Dav Grohl) to soft and emotional. Every instrument was placed perfectly in the mix. During two songs the guitar solo featured a strat sound which reminded me of the classic sound David Gilmore got from his Comfortably Numb solo. I have tried to emulate that sound for years and never seemed to get there. Now that we have music digitally distributed many listeners never get to hear the music in the order it was recorded. Many listeners have song lists or shuffle play and the art of song pacing is becoming a lost art.

    For those who will listen to a CD from the beginning the pacing was five of the first six songs (or side A) were classic alternative rockers with a soft ballad (track 4) mixed in. The last songs (or side B) slowed down considerably only to pick up the pace on the final song which started slow and gathered speed. Overall, I thought the mixture was very pleasing.

    In the studio
    How do you review perfection? This is a CD which can rival any major recording artist's offering. The vocals had plenty of dynamics and the bass and drum tracks were solid as a rock. The keyboards were there to complement the band. Because the keyboards add texture to a recording they can take up more space in the mix. This can swallow the guitars as they share the same space in the audio spectrum. I was most impressed by the sound of the guitar tracks. At no time did I feel the guitar was taking up too much harmonic space, nor did I feel the guitars took too much space. The only thing I would have done differently in the recording studio was to add an acoustic guitar to the mix on some of the heaver tracks. This would have given the CD a little more shine on a couple tracks which were compressed quit a bit.
    Final Comments:

    I know alternative rock bands start to sound like one another after a few listens. Five A.M. doesn't cause the listener fatique I get when listening to other alt. rock acts. In addition, the band didn't have to scream in order to make a point. The lyrics were intellegent and understandable. I gave this band the closest rating to perfection I could.
    9.7 /10 Stars

    As Reviewed by Charles Harrelson

    Want EvO:R to review your music?

    It will be honest and above all, very interesting. You will be granted permission to reproduce the review or link to the review on any artist websites or social media sites. After the review is completed we will contact you to inquire about having your review posted on 12 major Indie music sites. This program gets your name and review in front to thousands of eyes.

    We only require a $25.00 donation when submitting a CD for review. Simply click the "Buy Now" button to the right to donate $25.00 for your professional review.

    After making your donation you can send your CD to:
  • Charlie Harrelson
    EvOR Reviewer
    855 Markham Wood Rd
    Longwood, Fl.

  • Please, no emails with links to music. We do require a CD for any reviews.
    Reviews will appear in the order that CD's are sent so don't delay as it takes a few weeks for reviews to appear! If your CD is good enough it may qualify for the top 25 Indie CD's of all time.

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