Bob Pressner – Everyman
Bright and breezy, with a strong americana flavour, Bob Pressner’s Everyman oozes confidence and the self assured certainty of a songwriter who’s got the chops.
Opening with single ‘California’ the album is immediately presented as uplifting and filled with heartwarming instrumentation. Add to that the soul affirming harmonies, and you’re immediately on to a real winner. ‘Waterfall’ lets the acoustic guitar really ring out – the sound of the fingers on the strings comes though very clearly to create an intimate sound, and the flute adds a nice touch to the track that adds a folky flavour. One criticism that becomes apparent is how there are points on the album that become a little boomy, with the bass building up to the point of coming close to discomfort, but there is still enough treble to offset this and stop it from becoming too much of a distraction. ‘New York City’ is bold and confident, the exact kind of thing a song titled in such a way really should sound – drawing on elements from Bob Dylan and Ryan Adams, it really is a love letter to the city that never sleeps. ‘New Day Coming’ moves into a more reflective and melancholic direction, with Bob Pressner’s lyrics painting a lonely picture that draws in the listener, singing out “In the distance I can hear the drumming, cause a new day is coming.” Coming straight out of that more laid back sound, ‘American Dream’ gets things a bit more grimy with a classic rock sound. What makes the music so engaging is the way the electric guitars are employed, letting their distortion really ring out, while the track remains without any need for drums – the guitars provide all the percussion through their own unique rhythmic sound. ‘Watch You Grow’ has more of a celtic feel to it, with its echoing notes that ring out. Pressner’s guitar picking resonates and gives a delicate sound that at times feels as though it is a whole other voice that is singing. Further on, ‘Here And Now’ sees the vocals really stepping up to the plate, with a solid confidence that forms a gritty track, while ‘Wicked Love’ lets an echo laden guitar wash create a melancholic ambience. Bob Pressner’s artistry really shines throughout the album – there is a clear style that is one hundred percent his own, and as such each song feels consistent with the overall feel, even when each song stands alone just as happily. The move through classic rock to Americana makes the album a really interesting listen, with hints of country thrown in for good measure, its sure to satisfy a whole range of music lovers. ‘Be Yourself’ in particular manages to blend together elements of Americana, country, and folk, all the time being held together with the glue of Pressner’s own vocal. As the album comes to a close, ‘Hard Times Ahead’ draws again on the pervading sense of melancholy, while the closing track – the album’s title track – offers a gentle winding down after a satisfying sequence of engaging songs.