Anyone in your life need a little torture? Buy them the album New Ground by Robert Bradley. They’ll never forget.

The album is far from ground-breaking or surprising and reminds me of high schoolers that got together to play music that they were all familiar with but had no desire to actually play.

The album attempts to incorporate elements of rock, soul, and funk into every track, producing an uninteresting set of mid-tempo songs.

The album opens with an attempt at rock with “Train.”

The drums make an amateur attempt at a basic rock feel that is combined with a hideously understated guitar and bass line. The track too closely resembles the easy-listening music of supermarkets and waiting rooms.

In an attempt to make up for the lack of an impressionable groove, the music incorporates female background vocals on “See Her” and “Feel the Fire” which only succeed in bringing the album to the level of Muzak.

“Profile” is a disastrous mix of 80s reverb rock beats and single-note bass lines. With the addition of Bradley’s muddled lyrics the song sinks further into tragedy.

His vocal additions to “Lindy” are equally uninteresting. The track begins with sickeningly-dreamy chords from the keyboards that reminds me of music that people would smoke up to.

The only two tracks that offer any hope are “Ride My Wave” and “Nightlife.” The grooves set down by the bass, drums and guitar finally seem to connect but the musicians fail to develop the lines and the music falls into the monotony of the album.

Throughout the album, the musicians have very good individual ideas, but the ideas fail to come together, and there is a lasting impression that none of the players are listening to the music that they are producing.

Once you’ve heard the first 30 seconds of this album you’ve heard the whole thing.

Rock, soul, funk and even country are all genres of music that call for elements of musical interaction, experimentation and development that this album is severely lacking.

This album is the garbage plate of music. It just lacks the funky charm of Rochester’s greatest native cuisine.

Martins can be reached at jmartins@campustimes.org.



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