This month 2 of my favorite artists released new albums. My all-time favorite Click Five front-man Kyle Patrick released his debut self-titled solo EP and my Kpop bias group Super Junior released their 6th full length album, Sexy, Free, & Single. Such great ear-candy, I must say.
Kyle Patrick by Kyle Patrick
Release Date: July 20th
Not to be a braggart, but I helped make this album real. This six track EP was financed by fans via PledgeMusic and I pledged $100+ to support Kyle’s creative adventures. There was a lot at stake for me and if this album wasn’t going to be great, I wasted my money. But I had nothing to worry about. This is Kyle Patrick. Expect nothing but pure talent.
I have to admit when I first pressed play I was a little surprised. This is not the Kyle everyone is used to. From being the lead of The Click Five to some of his previous solo material he has never really taken this pop route. Yet there is still a distinctiveness to it due to his soulful voice. According to the album notes and thank yous, this is the real Kyle Patrick we’re hearing here. I’m glad you found your “voice,” Kyle, but I’ll always enjoy listening to your more melancholy music.
However so, this is a perfect release for the summer. No one wants to listen to depressing music in a car ride to the beach.
The album opens with Follow You Heartbeat. It has a interesting reggae beat and fun little video game sounds. I’ve been hearing a lot of synthy video game noises in a lot of pop songs recently. This is just a completely fun, catchy song, a little reminiscent of Katy Perry’s California Gurls with some of the lyrical images. Interestingly, Kyle tweeted this review by Babe Walker which said he was the male version of Katy Perry. Uh, excuse me, he’s way better than Katy Perry.
Next up is lead single Go for Gold! This Olympic appropriate track has been on my workout playlist since it was released back in June. And whenever I listen to it, I have to replay it at least once. The first time was a pre-game to it’s awesomeness. And I can’t help but dance like an uncoordinated fool whenever it comes on. Part of Kyle PledgeMusic project was to create a 3D music video, so check out Go For Gold!’s MV (3D version here if you have red and blue glasses):
When I saw that a cover of Ain’t No Sunshine was included on this album, everything finally clicked for me. One of my exclusives for pledging was a Skype concert, and he sang it then. Interestingly enough, last Fall semester I took a colloquium on writing about music and I had to analyze a theme for one of the papers. I chose the sun and included the original by Bill Withers to interpret so I was quite familiar with the original, down to vocal expression. (Side note: I also wrote a review of The Click Five’s latest album for my review paper. #obssessedfanmuch #hashtaggingwhilenotontwitter) Kyle’s version gives it a different spin, but the general feeling feels the same. Kyle’s voice fits the song perfectly. Covers are great when tastefully done while giving homage to original artists.
The next track is Baby Don’t Board That Plane. Funny thing is, Kyle (and Jesse Ruben wo co-wrote the song) didn’t write this song for himself to pitch to other singers, but Kyle ended up using it himself. I have mixed feelings about this version. This song is pretty “old” for a follower of Kyle Patrick. I first heard the acoustic version on Youtube in 2010.
Then he started playing it with a track he made (and Jesse Ruben who co-wrote the song.)
I really recommend watching those videos. Their both pretty funny and you can see what Kyle is like during a live performance. He also released a demo version for his pledgers, and finally we have this album version. Seeing as the demo version is one of my top played songs in iTunes, I have a bit of an attachment to it. The dreamy, spacey vibe of the new version just doesn’t seem right to me. It sounds awesome, but still not quite there.
Finally, the EP ends with Wild Ways. This is my favorite track off the album, a great closer. I’m listening to the album as I write this and this song greatly inhibits my ability to formulate sentences and type. I cannot stop singing along. When I’m about to go to bed, I end up discovering this song in my head. How unfortunate that the lyrics go “I’m wide awake I gotta get out of bed” when I have to get up early the next morning to go to work. I see a radio hit. Wild Ways fits in perfectly with where pop music seems to be heading. Kyle, if you read this, please get this song on the radio. It is freaking awesome.
A few last word about Kyle’s EP. I wrote about his college bestie, Jesse Ruben last month and I could not help but find all kinds of similarities and complete opposites in their EPs. Kyle went the pop and produced route whereas Jesse went the raw acoustic route. Both included one cover in their EPs. Both have one encouraging, inspired-by-marathon-running songs. Wild Ways and I Should Get Out More are complete opposites which led to this tweet:
All in all, if you’re not familiar with Kyle Patrick, familiarize yourself. I’m going to have a hipster moment when he becomes famous and I say I’ve known about him since 2007. Except I’ll support him and not abandon his music just because he becomes mainstream. Isn’t that what we want of great musicians? Stop being stingy with your music, hipsters!
Since I ended up writing an essay about this album, I’ll be reviewing Sexy, Free, & Single in Part 2. Look forward to it Kpop and non Kpop fans alike!