Evan Woodward | Ramblin' on the Coast Highway
Family Average: 3/7
Evan takes the family down the coast—the West Coast, that is! He lays out a picnic blanket, a basket full of snacks, and begins to serenade us with smooth saxophone and guitar. As the waves crash over the beach, he leans in closely and whispers, "Do you like it?"
Listen along on Evan's Spotify and read on to find out if we did:
The opening track sets the tone, it let's the listener know that this is a folk singer with a strong sense of song composition. Evan Woodward had a real familiar sound you could hear in his voice his influences, Jim Croce, Bob Dylan and James Taylor. I like this music and I always will.
Again, starting off with “Unwind” was a real treat; great lyrics with a nice driving guitar groove running through-out the track. The following song was a nice bluesy Indie rock thing with some crackling guitar riffs reminiscent of the “Black Keys”, complete with feedback in the last few seconds of the track. Then in “No Sorrow” he gets all Springsteen-like with a back-woodsy Freehold accent and all. Unfortunately, for the me the rest of the album just kind of lulled me to sleep. It could have something to do with the fact that I was listening to it at 11:45 at night. The last three all blended together leaving nothing really memorable. Maybe it was past my bed time, but I just got tired of listening near the end. Still stand by the sound he was going for though. Keep going, Evan.
I love the use of poetry in songs. I believe music should convey a story. This was not poetry. It was more like contrived karaoke copying "Hoodie and the blowfish".
I appreciate Evan's musical ability and the fact that he's working on his craft, but he needs to take that leap of faith and commit to a style and direction.
This meandering album lives up to its title, because it rambles. So much so, I fought against an immense urge to hit skip in order to find a song that didn’t feel like a never-ending story. I’m usually happy to listen to albums with prolonged tracks if the length of the song feels warranted and necessary to experiencing the album as a whole. These were just too drawn out. The mix of acoustic guitar with saxophone is an interesting combination—and actually quite beautifully done —but the album overall felt lackluster. This is clearly a project that has a lot of heart behind it, but I just struggled to connect and engage with it.
Woah boy, I keep having to do a double-take with this album. I know he's from the West coast, but I could swear this guy has such an East coast vibe to him. Kind of hard to explain, but hey maybe writing this review will help me work it out.
Anyway okay, what's up there Evan? I see you have some songs here that you brought for us to listen to. Most of them have words, lots of lovely words. The overall sound gives off a real soulful kind of poet vibe—maybe that's what's giving me the East coast feels. No complaints though, because that's the kind of stuff I am into, and there's heaps of it on this album. Also can we talk about that gosh darn saxophone?! Holy smokes, it really made this album for me. Love me some sax. Made me go and listen to Julee Cruise “Floating Into The Night” right after.
All in all I would say it was a pretty pleasant journey. If I had any complaint it would just be that the guitar sounded like it wasn't really given justice in the recording process. I could get behind it if the entire album had a low-fi sound, but it seemed to stand out as the only instrument that sounded kinda rough.
I’m having trouble seeing the point in creating this album. It really does nothing for me. I maybe could see it having a place in like a department store. I can see myself hearing this song in a failing department store while I am checking out.
The songs on the LP are palatable but I would never go out of my way to listen to it. Sure things are going right; the singer has a great voice but it’s wasted in cliche lyrics. Nothing really made me say "WOW". None of these are songs to write home about and for some reason “big sur vibrations” made me laugh because it was so corny. You know it sounded corny right? It sounded corny.
Contrary to some of my family's beliefs...particularly the green-colored names up there...I dug this album. Yeah, I said it! I thought it had a pleasant sound. It felt less like a West Coast album and more like a journey across country that ended with a starlit desert night at Joshua Tree. Not that I've ever been to Joshua Tree...but it's how I'd imagine it.
I particularly loved the first three songs, they put me in such a calm mood. Which can be hard to do sometimes considering during a work week I am an unpredictable tornado of emotions.
Nice stuff, mister Evan.