Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Geoff Davin - Breakline


Geoff Davin - Breakline
2011, Geoff Davin

Geoff Davin was bitten by the music bug early on, writing songs from the tender age of five.  A professional actor from the age of fourteen, Davin moved to New York after high school and attended the C.A.P. 21 Studio at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  Davin appeared in a number of shows both in New York and across the country, but a workshop production of Pearl Heart broke the dam for Davin’s love of country music.  Moving to Nashville, Davin threw himself into the music the same way he’d earlier immersed himself in the stage.  Two years later, Davin has the fruit of his labors ready for the world.  His debut album, Breakline, eschews the cookie-cutter pop/country mould and goes for a classic-yet-fresh blend of country, southern rock and R&B.

Davin opens with some filthy-good slide guitar work; the introduction to the blend of soul, rock and honky-tonk that is "Sounds Of A Summer Night".  This might just be the ultimate back-country party song.  "Sounds Of A Summer Night" is so infectious it's being tracked by the CDC, but may be quite difficult to slot into a format for commercial radio.  This one has hit written all over it; release it on the cusp of summer and you may have a single that stays in heavy rotation until Labor Day.    "Bow Chicka-Wow-Wow" is incredibly catchy rock n roll that's full of innuendo and fun.  The song avoids clich√© while playing off a stereotype.  You know what it's about from the title alone, but Davin manages to surprise you with how bloody well written it is nonetheless.

"Shine!" tells the story of two star-crossed souls who fall in love.  He's deeply devoted, but she has dreams that will take her far beyond his reach.  "Shine!" explores the mixture of love, sorrow and regret over the wistful desire to be in one place but the inevitable need to be in another.  "Cora Lee Five" is all about a woman who chews men up and spits them out without conscience or thought.  Davin continues to surprise with an ability to churn out catchy country/soul/rock hybrids with a frequency that's nearly frightening.    "Cross My Mind" is pure 1970's soul with a dose of Black Crowes thrown in for good measure.  Engaging and catchy in spite of the mid-tempo presentation, "Cross My Mind" has some serious chart potential in its exploration of the echoes of love that reverberate long after reason is gone.

"Somebody Like Me" is an 'opposites attract' story-song done in outlaw country style.  He's a rocker-boy and she's Harvard educated.  Together they explore a path full of surprising connections and unlikely agreements from two theoretical ends of the social world.  This one is hopeful with attitude, and will get stuck in your skull.  "Regret" is deep and soulful in a powerful 1970's soul arrangement.  Davin's voice is generally a pleasure, but on this song he raises it to the level of amazing, and his backup vocalist matches him note for note.  "Breakline" is about as catchy as a song can legally be; another potential hit for Davin.  The song tells the story of a road man and the inspiration that keeps him driving when all else fails.  Breakline closes with "Long Way", a quietly celebratory song on 'making it', whatever that may mean to you.  The song is very well written and uplifting, and is the sort of song that causes the house to be dappled with thousands of specks of light in concert.

Geoff Davin is the real deal, blending country, soul, rock and R&B into music so catchy and uncontrived you can't help but sing, dance or move along.  If Davin doesn't make it big it will be ultimate indictment of the music industry.  While Davin doesn't slot easily into one commercial radio format, the songs on Breakline are of such quality and a mix of styles that Davin could rule several charts at once.  Breakline is a must-have album, but for what it is and for what Davin just might become.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

 Learn more about Geoff Davin at http://www.geoffdavin.com/ or www.myspace.com/davincountryBreakline is available from Amazon.com as a CD or Download.  The album is also available from iTunes.