EP “Reach Out”: Jeremiah Griffin

This will be my first time doing a review of a newly released CD, but I am glad Jeremiah Griffin allowed me to do a review of his EP “Reach Out.” Since all the songs are all different styles and tones, I will be reviewing one song at a time. This review is based on how the music made me feel, think, the vibes the song gave off, and some technical music critiques. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this EP. In my review, I am throwing out flavors and pop culture references that people might point out or mention while listening to each of these songs. Thank you Jeremiah and your music is great at the core. Let’s get to draining your brain!

1.) Little Bird
My first impression of this song was the Eagles' lyricist/songwriter got ahold of Alan Jackson's early musical composition and made a song. This song has a country feel mixed with Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl vibe to it. I enjoy the metaphor between the title and an actual person. It's sweet and very relatable on multiple levels. The lyrics often mention real life events and he even says, "Hold me while I'm stupid drunk." I appreciate giving people something real to relate to because that is hard to find. His voice is very clear and all the words are very understandable. It has mixed sad and happy emotions, but also sounds like an upbeat Jim Croce song.

2.) Gone Baby Gone
This is the best song on the entire EP by far. He accents his tone in a raspy, but smooth manner and his usage of runs is stunning. I love the blues/black soul expressionism in this song so much. Parts of this song remind me of the melody Lights by Journey and Stand By Me by Ben E. King. I also feel the influences of Ray Charles in the style of singing. Throughout the song you can sense that the singer had a clear vision of what he wanted the song to be about. Again, I like how relatable the lyrics are to real life since this song is about trying to hold on to someone who wants to leave you. Though this song is over 6 minutes long, it is worth the time.

3.) Drew County
Prepare yourself for another lengthy song, but this message contains a deeper meaning that will draw you in to keep listening. This song is simple, but has a complicated back story. The song speaks for itself in what it's about: Drew County, AR. When people are telling their life story or past stories to you around a low lit campfire, this is what this song reminds me of. The narrative story in this song has melancholy undertones with "sleepy" folk vibes attached to it. If you've ever lived in a small town and felt like there was nothing there, this song is for you. Being originally from a small town myself, I can relate to the message of his lyrics. It brings a realistic view to what growing up in a small town is truly like versus the romanticized interpretation typically depicted. 

4.) Mars Bar 2077
The first image that comes to my mind when listening to this song is the Mos Eisley Cantina scene from Star Wars: A New Hope. Imagine other worldly creatures gathered around inside this venue listening to a Jimmy Buffet inspired alien band. He embraces whimsy and fantasy by telling a story about someone whose life mission is to move to Mars, be a "Martianeer" and open up a bar. If you have ever seen RENT, this song is almost a reflection of Santa Fe from the musical. Both songs are similar thematically, but differ lyrically and musically altogether.  Instead of the phrase "We'll open up a restaurant in Santa Fe." it's "I'm going to move away to Mars and open up a bar." This main line in the chorus ties this whole song together. It may seem rather silly, but I enjoy the interesting narrative the song brings to the listener. He musically transports you to the Mars Bar so you can hear the band play the song he's already singing.

5.) Reach Out
 Though this is the title track, the rest of the EP carried the weight for what this song lacks. I find this song to be my least favorite for a number of reasons. The majority of the song seemed overly pitchy. I do not know if it was intended to be, but I felt he was vocally straining to hit key notes in the first 2 minutes of the song. At times the pitches did not sound pleasant to the ear, but there were multiple times where he recovered well. A lot of the scooping he did to reach most of the notes seemed to be in minor scale which was jarring. The tone of this song is melancholic, but the lyrics relate to sadness in a positive way. His voice tone produced nice baritone sounds and reminded me of the singing style of Janis Joplin. Once it's 2:30 into the song, his quality of singing takes a tremendous burst of energy and sounded amazing through to the end. It has the rustic charm of a good folk melody doused in deeper lyrics. "Reach out your hand into me" is the overarching message highlighted in this song and should be noted as worth listening to.

If you want to get in touch with Jeremiah about getting a copy of his EP, find him on Facebook, Instagram, or hit him up through email at jergriffin@gmail.com. I encourage you all to listen to his EP on Spotify, so you can create opinions of your own.

As always, please keep draining your brain and finding new avenues of discovering art around you.

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