Skyler - Long Gone
2010, SkyHi Records
In a day and age where celebrity seems to be the most desirable goal for many, the world abounds with self-proclaimed prodigies. Nevertheless you'll occasionally come across a young artist who doesn't need the label. York, Maine's Skyler is a prime example; as early as third grade kids were clamoring in the playground to hear Skyler play. By 6th grade he'd mastered multiple instruments and a year later the recording studio in his bedroom reduced Skyler to sleeping on the couch. Four albums, twenty professional and repertory theatre productions and several hundred gigs later, Skyler has a year at Berklee College of Music under his belt and a loyal following that's admirable. With the release of his fifth album/EP, Long Gone, Skyler brings together the distinctive pop sensibility that's been drawing crowds since grammar school with a highly refined but non-constricting polish that's rare.
Long Gone opens with "Hold My Hand", an incredibly catchy pop/rock number in the style of Elvis Costello. "Hold My Hand" has the sort of melody that lives in your brain for years and continues to surface long after you've forgotten where it came from. This tune has hit written all over it. "This Dream (Nashville)" is irresistibly danceable rock n roll about coming home to his baby after time on the road. Most any musician whose spent time on the road with a love at home has written some form of this song, but few have done it as well as Skyler has here. "Stephanie" is a song of infatuation that's cute and catchy with serious vocal harmonies. The acoustic country arrangement is a pleasant listen, but electrify it and polish it up and it's as close to a sure-fire hit as you can get. "Any Stupid Thing" is a catchy love song, brilliant as in Beatles brilliant. By the way, it's probably the weakest overall song on the EP. Long Gone closes with "It's Just The Night", a true rock n roll 'wow' moment. You'll have a hard time remembering the last time an album or EP was this much pure joy to listen to.
Skyler practices the KISS principle as a songwriter, keeping the constructions simple with amazing melodies, strong harmonies, dynamic vocals and an ingenious pop sensibility. In a perfect world Skyler would already own the pop charts. In the real world, if there is one artist you need to turn your attention to in 2010, it's Skyler. Long Gone is pure pop/rock that's not snarky, contrived or cynical in any way. Skyler appears to be making music for the simple joy of it, and that energy is abundantly contagious on Long Gone. If there is any justice in the world of music, Skyler will be the breakout artist of 2010/2011. Long Gone is a Wildy’s World Certified Desert Island Disc. Don't miss it.
Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Skyler at www.facebook.com/skylertunes or www.myspace.com/skylertunes. Long Gone is available from Amazon.com as a CD or Download. Digital versions are also available via iTunes.