SONG REVIEWS

BY RADIO AIRPLAY

The Truth About Christmas

Overall Impression: 
I'm no stranger to the fantastical musical wizardry of Kenny DesChamp and every track that I've had the good fortune of coming across always offers something new, "The Truth About Christmas" is another prime example of this. Versatility is key when it comes to any strong songwriter and the confidence to explore new stylistic ground is what gives many artists that important edge, and whilst my previous experience with Kenny's music served as an exciting and wildly creative jaunt into his inspired prog-rock world, "The Truth About Christmas" serves as a brilliant example of Kenny's undeniable skill at being able to adapt his unique style to cater to different genres, in this case, the Christmas song. Both utterly charming and wonderfully arranged, "The Truth About Christmas" is a thoroughly pleasant listening experience that combines Kenny's distinct vocal style and its warm tonal qualities with that quintessential festive sparkle, giving listeners a deeply wholesome listening experience that will undoubtedly get many a listener fully primed and ready for the holiday season. 

Strongest Point(s): 
As with all Kenny DesChamp tunes, the vocals are excellent, and Kenny's instantly recognizable vocal style helps to really bring a specific tonal warmth to the track that allows it to perfectly fit within the Christmas song genre, helping to heighten the track's gentle-natured characteristics through his affable vocal presence. The lyrics manage to perfectly encompass the various distinct sights, sounds, and feelings of the season brilliantly, firmly placing listeners in the festive mood whilst serving as a solid springboard for Kenny to explore his more understated vocal qualities. There's a definite sense of mellow placidity running through the music that listeners will find thoroughly welcoming and with plenty of tenderly conveyed melodies on offer throughout the exceptional arrangement and its rich instrumental interplay, listeners will enjoy getting swept up in Kenny's affectionate songwriting. 

Target Audience Appeal: 
Lovers of the Christmas song genre will find "The Truth About Christmas" to be a highly pleasant listening experience and I'm sure it will most definitely appeal to fans of the genre. 

Artist target suggestions: 
Johnny Mathis, Bob Seger, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Black Crowes, The Maine, Randy Newman, Big Big Train, The Flower Kings 

About The Reviewer: 
Andre Avanessian is a freelance session musician, composer, and sound engineer based in the U.K. Having studied music production and composition at a degree level, he has taken his passion for all things audio-related to a level that has allowed him to become both a competent musician and performer. Being a self-confessed "Guitar Nerd" Andre has been continually studying the guitar, as well as teaching it, helping students learn the instrument, develop their songwriting, and become proficient in home recording.    

Vocals: Strength 
Lyrics: Strength 
Instrumental Performance/Execution: Strength 
Melody/Rhythm: Strength 
Arrangement/Flow: Strength 
Recording Quality/Overall Mix: Strength

The Fool's Lament

Overall Impression:   Canadian independent recording artist Kenny DesChamp delivers a sophisticated bit of smooth jazz-rock with his release of "The Fool's Lament." This mid tempo track features angular yet compelling melodies draped over complex extended harmonies, and highlighted by brilliant lyrics that employ the theatrical stage as a metaphor for social frustration and personal angst. A gorgeous arrangement consisting of acoustic guitar, vibes, electric bass and a variety of keys and synths is bolstered by a lush backing choir and modern sound design elements, and driven by light drums and Latin percussion. DesChamp gives a superb vocal performance here, navigating elaborate skips and steps with a sublime ease. Jazz, pop, and rock enthusiasts alike will fall in love with Kenny DesChamp's "The Fool's Lament", thanks in part to its brilliant composition, clever songwriting, and glossy production. 

Strongest Point(s):   Outstanding production, excellent mix (especially for a DIY project). Fantastic tonal balance. Great instrumentation choices, provides a rich sonic palette to work with. Nice groove and beat design, ideal tempo and feel. Remarkable harmonic structure and chord progressions, allowing for that wonderful melody. Loved the whooshes and other production fx, gives it a very contemporary sound. Solos were great, the backing vox sound fantastic, and I especially enjoyed the whistled section. Stellar vocal performance, great clarity and command. Exceptionally sharp lyrical content that conveys deep anxiety and resentment, and does so in such an elegant fashion that it comes off with an even greater sardonic edge. Absolutely phenomenal track all around, and one that was an honor to review. Tremendous work on this one! 

Target Audience Appeal:   Fans of Soft Rock, Jazz Rock, Easy Listening, Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Progressive Rock, Fusion, Crossover Jazz 

Artist target suggestions:   Steely Dan, Michael McDonald, Randy Newman, The Doobie Brothers, Bruce Hornsby, Joe Jackson, Toto, Sting, The Tubes, Fourplay, Yellowjackets, Spyro Gyra 

About The Reviewer:   Steven Azami is a multi-instrumentalist with over 25 years of experience in the music industry. Both as a touring/session player and as a producer, his career has spanned nearly every genre, from bluegrass to jazz, from rock to reggae. In addition, his work as a music educator has allowed him to cultivate and foster talent among the next generation of musical explorers 

Vocals: Strength 
Lyrics: Strength 
Instrumental Performance/Execution: Strength 
Melody/Rhythm: Strength 
Arrangement/Flow: Strength 
Recording Quality/Overall Mix: Strength

Numb and Hollow

Overall Impression: 
Having previously reviewed the equally bold and adventurous "Get Out" by prog-rock extraordinaire Kenny DesChamp, I eagerly dived into his new track "Numb and Hollow" with both gleeful excitement and great intrigue, hoping for another generous helping of expansive textures, inspired writing, and jaw-dropping vocal performances, and much to my delight, this is exactly what I got. Kenny's highly unique and charismatic vocal style is on full display here, providing listeners with a gloriously compelling husky-infused vocal prowess that can range from soft and delicate to magnificent soaring highs, pair this with the equally captivating musical canvas that Kenny has so deftly arranged and you have a piece of music that continuously provides new nuggets of inspired creativity as it progresses. Melodically exciting, rhythmically thrilling, and thematically engrossing, this is a track that is an absolute joy to get lost in. 

Strongest Point(s): 
"Numb and Hollow" isn't afraid to dive deep into some particularly challenging themes and the way in which Kenny masterfully articulates his lyrics to effectively convey these challenging topics is excellent, not only do the lyrics conjure up some strikingly vivid imagery, but Kenny's highly expressive vocal performance really helps give a staggering amount of both weight and depth to each and every word and phrase that he delivers. Alongside Kenny's superb tonal and dynamic control, there's some fantastic rhythmic interplay between the vocals and accompanying instrumental parts, for example, take the way in which the syncopated acoustic guitar part accents the offbeats, creating a brilliantly flamboyant and somewhat off-kilter rhythmic interaction between certain aspects of the arrangement that really helps give the track its sense of character. 

Target Audience Appeal: 
This is an alternative prog-rockers dream, and I'm sure fans of the style will find "Numb and Hollow" to be a fascinating listening experience. 

Artist target suggestions: 
King Crimson, The Alan Parsons Project, Yes, Genesis, Camel, Omega, Mike Oldfield, Renaissance, DejaVu, Decameron, Rush, Gentle Giant 

About The Reviewer: 
Andre Avanessian is a freelance session musician, composer, and sound engineer based in the U.K. Having studied music production and composition at a degree level, he has taken his passion for all things audio-related to a level that has allowed him to become both a competent musician and performer. Being a self-confessed "Guitar Nerd" Andre has been continually studying the guitar, as well as teaching it, helping students both learn the instrument, develop their songwriting, and how to become proficient in home recording.          

Vocals: Strength 
Lyrics: Strength 
Instrumental Performance/Execution: Strength 
Melody/Rhythm: Strength 
Recording Quality/Overall Mix: Strength

Get Out!

Overall Impression: 
With its contemplative lyrical themes, wildly inventive nature, and fascinating fusing of styles, "Get Out!" is a highly creative and wonderfully adventurous foray into the forever exciting and intriguing world of prog-rock that serves as a deeply original sounding and vividly arranged piece of writing that isn't afraid to take risks and throw convention out of the window in order to find its own unique sense of identity. Kenny DesChamp combines gloriously quirky vocalizations with an effective and accomplished sense of melody, taking listeners on a cosmic-fueled journey that's filled with dazzling melodic flair, wildly imaginative vocal layering's, and an undeniably compelling sense of musicality. 

Strongest Point(s): 
Acting as the predominant driving force behind the arrangement, the vocals exhibit a profoundly quirky and unique edge that makes great use of effects in order to present the lyrics in continually intriguing ways, whether it'd be the way they are interestingly arranged through the use of octave layering or extreme pitch-shifting, this particular element of the track helps give it its definite unique edge. The whole tone section certainly adds further intrigue to the arrangement and provides an effective and striking amount of contrast to the sections that both precede and follow. The whole tone scale is by no means an easy scale to navigate due to its lack of recognizable key center, however, it's handled well here and certainly helps take the music into rather unnerving territory. This use of sustained tension, if resolved effectively, can really help add further excitement to an arrangement by playing with listener's expectations, keeping them on their toes if it were, the moment when the music resolves into a more stable state will prove to be far more effective, and that's exactly what happens when the music returns to its stable state at 5:10. 

Target Audience Appeal: 
Lovers of prog-rock will undoubtedly find "Get Out!" to be a highly rewarding experience, the sheer creativity on display is staggering 

Artist target suggestions: 
King Crimson, The Alan Parsons Project, Yes, Genesis, Camel, Omega, Mike Oldfield, Renaissance, DejaVu, Decameron, Rush, Gentle Giant 

About the Reviewer: 
Andre Avanessian is a freelance session musician, composer, and sound engineer based in the U.K. Having studied music production and composition at a degree level, he has taken his passion for all things audio-related to a level that has allowed him to become both a competent musician and performer. Being a self-confessed "Guitar Nerd" Andre has been continually studying the guitar, as well as teaching it, helping students both learn the instrument, develop their songwriting, and how to become proficient in home recording.           

Vocals: Strength 
Lyrics: Strength 
Instrumental Performance/Execution: Strength 
Melody/Rhythm: Strength 
Arrangement/Flow: Strength