Were You Ever Really Mine? – Rhett Repko (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

DSC04714Just as the opening strummed acoustic guitar lines have me thinking “here we go, another earnest, balladeering, unplugged troubadour to wade through” the weight of a full band drops in behind it and suddenly the world seems a brighter place. It would have been easy to follow some sort of angst ridden pop template and aim to tug teen heartstrings; instead Rhett plays a much cleverer card.

Driven rock guitars and punchy backbeats pull the song in an altogether more groovesome direction yet it still understands how to appeal to the commercial market, knows how to work with dynamics and drips with infectious melody. So essentially this is a new take on pop music, yes, pop music, we have spent so long being spoon-fed dance routined, production line dross that we have forgotten that pop, okay, pop-rock can be like this as well. In my book everything is pop music anyway…pop, popular, populist… but let me qualify that a bit.

Pop music is done often, but in general not done well. All too often it is happy to sacrifice creativity for formula, to wander very narrow, established pathways for fear of losing site of the pop-fan dollar. Rhett Repko shows us that if you flip this model on its head, draw in influences from a number of genres, you can write songs, which both appeal to the masses and retain the integrity required by the more discerning listener.

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