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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Derek Nicoletto - Champion

Derek Nicoletto – Champion
2012, Island Def Jam
Derek Nicoletto was long lauded as having one of the best voices in Indie rock and roll.  His previous band, Telling On Trixie, always seemed on the verge of something great.  Yet pop stardom is a fickle creature, and try as they might, Telling On Trixie never quite connected with the sort of mainstream uprising that brings a band from regional favorite to national darling.  These days lead singer Derek Nicoletto is out there on his own, supporting his solo album Kind Ghosts, and a recent remix EP for the song “Champion”.  Here Nicoletto continues his musical rebirth, which has seen him shifting from rock and roll of Telling On Trixie to a darker, more electronic sound.
“Champion” certainly has its pop sensibility intact.  That and some reminiscent keyboard licks make this song sound as if Survivor had gone Goth/Post-Modern.  There are dark industrial tendencies built into the music here.  It’s a very solid effort from a compositional standpoint.  The song is quite disjointed lyrically, sounding as if phrases were sewn together for the purpose of filling out the music rather than out of any real stream of thought.  This works on one level, as a rhythmic counterpart to the composition, but falls a bit short of expectations based on Nicoletto’s previous work.
On the whole, “Champion” is an interesting step forward for Derek Nicoletto.  It appears more effort and thought went into the music than into the lyrics, but it’s still a positive experience for the listener.  One hopes that he can bring the lyrical cogence showed with Telling On Trixie to the table on future efforts; the result will be a complete songwriting package.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
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