Guest Review by Brandon James Anderson:
Released: December 2011
Gypsy Of NYC
The easy route here would be to categorize things as “eclectic” or “a nice mixture.” Eclectic, however, simply doesn’t do it justice. Rather, the aptly titled New Direction from Maria Rose & The Swiss Kicks is a showcase of an emerging band whose sound is at once distinct and expansive.
Rose more than holds her own throughout the album with songs that showcase her vocal range. No doubt, she is suited for the wide range of tempos and sounds produced from her bandmates throughout the seven tracks.
Lyrically and musically, range is evident throughout the disc. Such is the case with title track “New Direction.” The song includes a rapped interlude that’s melted with soaring vocals mixed with heavy percussion and piano chords to create a pulsating and adventurous track.
In “Gypsy of NYC”, the band moves into more experimental areas with structure and sound, creating a tune that is all at once funky and catchy, while sounding like something that could be categorized as “Mediterranean.” As Rose sings, “She’s so beautiful, but she ain’t pretty” against a backdrop of strumming acoustic guitars, you get the sense that you’re listening to a band that conjures up both the range and quality of Fleetwood Mac.
The lyrics are at times light and playful, as is the case with “Pineapple Wine”. Yet the melodies and beats to such songs are catchy to the point that even the most cynical of anti-romantics will not be able to resist from tapping their feet.
While the blending of vocals, lyrics, and sound is successful in every track, it’s perhaps the song “Wildcard” that is best. “Wildcard” is a sultry tune with clever lyrics that nicely compliment the song’s tempo and mood. A song of this strength helps reiterate the fact that the band’s effort here is a successful showcase of musicianship, talent, and lyrical intelligence that leaves the listener wanting more.