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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Review: Martin Rivas - Sea Of Clouds

Martin Rivas - Sea Of Clouds
2009, BTA Recordings

New York City based singer/songwriter Martin Rivas might be familiar to readers in New York City as the lead guitarist and vocalist of Serious Pilgrim, but he’s been in a number of bands over the years. Over time, Rivas has recorded with Yoko Ono and has played with Jeff Tweedy. Rivas’ latest effort, Sea Of Clouds.

Sea Of Clouds kicks off with Sleeping In The Shed, a catchy bit of Pop/Rock that you'll find yourself tapping your toes and humming along with. A New Word is a pleasant mellow rock tune that's a decent listen but doesn't really stand out. Heckuva Day, on the other hand, has a classic sound that draws on deep Motown roots. Rivas manages a feat of tremendous songwriting here in a song that has distinct commercial possibilities for both Adult Contemporary formats as well as for licensing. Rivas goes to the same Soul/R&B well for Get Yourself Together, singing wholly in falsetto in a song that could have some radio impact with the right push. Rivas hits a few other high notes along the way, whether in the heartfelt simplicity of Turtle or the soul-bearing solace of Hide In Me. Rivas closes out with Sorry To See You Go, a heart-on-the-sleeve missive that's long on emotion and short on verbosity.

Martin Rivas has a pleasant singing voice and an ability to craft gentle, pretty adult pop songs, but suffers from an interesting combination of lyrical extremities (sometimes too much, sometimes too little) on Sea Of Clouds. The album gets strong nods for composition and sound, but can be difficult to chew if your focus is the lyrics. It was an enjoyable listening experience, but working in conjunction with another lyricist would likely serve to smooth out the wrinkles effectively. A great effort musically that's just not met in the words.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Martin Rivas at or You can purchase Sea Of Clouds via CDBaby.

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