Reviews

Greg Goldman's music has been reviewed positively by friends/collaborators and professionals alike.


Review of the album Cathexis
By Pete Feenstra, published on GetReadyToRock.com

Appearances can be deceptive. The barely discernible art work on this CD disguises a masterpiece of an album by an artist whose multi-instrumental and production versatility matches that of his song craft.

Greg Goldman tells us that Cathexis is the 'investment of psychic energy in a given object'. He uses this energy to produce a lovingly crafted album full of sun drenched songs with subtle sonic sub texts and ever present harmony vocals which suggest Brian Wilson as an influence. More than that, he achieves the same impact as when these teenage ears first heard the Beach Boys.

'Cathexis' does indeed sound full of psychic energy and lots more besides. Greg pens elegant compositions and explores magisterial musical moments delivered with a lightness of touch as he sings from the heart, on an album that straddles gentle west coast influences and jazz fusion. He never restricts himself to anything too limited and thinks nothing of extending a vowel or transforming a lead line into something else. He creates an exciting, shifting musical tableau full of beguiling music, sweeping arrangements, intricate rhythms, mellifluous vocals and a stellar production that brings light and shade to 13 vibrant interlocking tracks.

There's a summery feel-good vibe about this album that sweeps you off your feet, with some airy melodies and lovely vocals that switch from lyrical enunciation to backing vocals in the blink of an eye.

Each track builds on the previous one, on album that leads you to try and second guess what he has in mind next.

'Center of The Universe' for example, is a jaunty acoustic piece with a 10cc style doubled up harmonies, layered keyboard and locked in guitar parts. 'Apropos' provides another subtle vocal wash and comes with a voluminous swell on the outro, and there's clever rhythmic phrasing on the acoustic driven 'Drop The Anchor' with a tautly extended finale.

On 'Recipe For Ruin' Greg adds some Steely Dan style funk with synth explorations and a mid-section keyboard motif that anchors the track. He adds modulated tones and a jazzy guitar line to the kind of sumptuous groove that you really don't want to end. The music on 'Cathexis' draws you in, as on the train time 'Paragon' with its uplifting background vocals, while the acoustic led 'Forty Nights' could be McCartney with the emphasis squarely on harmonies.

You could imagine Greg working with the likes of George Martin or Jeff Lynne except that he's already bottled his own retro magic.

'Bargain Song' employs a shifting bass line and a jazzy Paul Simon vocal, and Greg heads for the highway with some cogent rocking on 'All', as each verse adds another musical colour over a relentless tic-toc rhythm. You can almost feel the psychic energy immersing the music with real potency.

Greg Goldman is possibly the first artist I've ever come across who outlines his a-z influences on his web site, though curiously neither Brian Wilson or the Beach Bys feature. But you can feel the musical lineage at play from the little musical motifs and rich sonic elements, to the vocal phrasing and wide ranging musical styles.

'Cathexis' is a refreshingly cool album, even when Greg's adventurous spirit leads him to a proggy effort like 'Validation', which mixes staccato Jethro Tull rhythms with wisps of Genesis' and Phish style harmonies.

And if he evokes Macca again on the closing 'Turn It Home', it's simply because he recognises the need for a gentle acoustic end-piece to a great album that all discerning rock fans should buy.


Review of the album Cathexis
By Glenn Milligan, published on www.metalliville.co.uk

A decent enough contemporary artist who unleashed this onto the public back in 2011. Ok so it's not too long ago really.

Highlights from the Missouri recorded album include the opening 'Whole/Part'; the funky 'Faith Proposal' and the closing moody 'Turn It Home' that kinda reminds of the Floyd.

Worth a good listen to.


Review of the album Cathexis
By Nicky Baldrian, published in Fireworks Magazine (UK)

'Cathexis' is the breathtaking hugely enjoyable new thirteen track album from St. Louis based solo artist Greg Goldman. This album has all the fundamentals I like about classic acoustic retro/rock albums with a modern slant that strikes a chord with me for its rich diversity, fun energy and passion.  

A lot of care and attention has gone into the creation of 'Cathexis,' especially with the production and it baffles me as to why artists like Greg Goldman are not huge. This record has all the hallmarks that fans of this genre love.
 
It's the music that counts and all tracks are varied and easily addictive numbers. Raging from the irresistible 'Recipe For Ruin' which is a jazzy retro fusion style number, the guitar work is out of this world and the whole vibe is brilliant, soaked in a sun kissed texture. 'Turn it Home' is very easy going, almost Americana in style coming across like the band America jamming with George Harrison. I really enjoyed this song and its one of those beauties that grows the more you listen, and listen you must, you need to drift along with this gorgeous baby, superb.
 
'Done (Where I'll See)' [sic] is more upbeat and melodic. Once again Greg sprinkles his special ingredients all over this track. This has a fuzzy retro vibe with a little Nirvana influences coming through, but far from grunge, this is retro jazzy 70's rock baby built for summer festivals. 'All' is another catchy song drenched in keyboards and makes me think of The Spencer Davis Group and Joe Bonamassa.  'Center Of The Universe' is very catchy, again retro in style, think Lenny Kravitz jamming maybe Oasis, great song, cool chorus and the one Greg should aim at radio if he gets the chance, love the whole build up of this song, it could even be progressive with a slight Wings feel.

Musically it's all here, there is something for everyone to enjoy throughout 'Cathexis' and Greg's music makes you listen and smile,  we couldn't ask for more really and this is one of those albums I can play forever and get lost in.  Watch out for Greg Goldman, one to look out for in the future and a band who play with feeling and style, and that’s a rare thing.


Review of the album Cathexis
By James Gaden, published in Fireworks Magazine (UK)

American Greg Goldman is a multi-instrumentalist who has been playing since he was a school boy, experimenting with multi track recording using cassette decks. He joined a band called Somah as the bass player, and toured the USA, sharing the stage with acts such as George Clinton and the Jerry Garcia Band. He issued his first album 'Moose' in 1998, playing all the instruments himself. Further releases were put out sporadically over the next few years, which brings us up to date.

'Cathexis,' his sixth album, once again sees Goldman handling all the instruments and vocals himself, as well as all production and mixing - a solo album in the truest sense of the word. Using the approach of writing as you record, Greg has put together an eclectic collection of thirteen songs. The production work is excellent and the playing is strong. Vocals are Greg's weak point, but he knows his limitations and never overtaxes what he has, which means everything on the album is more than listenable.

Songs range from the groovy opening of 'Whole/Part' to the more jazzy swing of 'Centre of the Universe,' all the way to the spacey 'Apropos' and the curiously effective synth led 'Faith Proposal.' The most rocking moment on the album is at the beginning of 'All,' but, that quickly fades back down to the more mellow style that permeates throughout the album. There are some mis-steps, the jerking, effect laden 'Validation' did nothing for me, but I liked the funky 'Recipe for Ruin.'

After hearing the album a few times, I liked its laid back vibe, but it lacked anything of a particularly memorable nature. Goldman is clearly a talent and I have the utmost respect for those with enough ability to make a solo album alone. I do think a bit of tempo variety and a little more cohesiveness in the album's direction would improve his work dramatically however.


Review of the album Cathexis
By Brandi Parker (Tella, Sigmund Blue)

I really appreciate all the fresh things you're doing with this album! I can really hear that you're pushing yourself and trying new techniques (like different mixing) along with the new songwriting process you talked about.

It really does color the overall impression of the work as a progression. It feels like a departure from "For My Part," while holding on to the distinctly 70s feel. It also feels more like your truly Greggish early work like "Moose" or "Holding Inside the Sun," where you had all control and played everything.

I think the song order is great— the songs subtly get faster and more emotional as we go.

I'm loving all the synths you're playing with. Also, do I hear mandolin?

Standouts:

I think the first track that really grabs me is Track 3- Apropos. I love the chord progression!  I love the piano! The bass part! Also, in the chorus there is this really neat sound that sweeps through in the background like a steel guitar and organ had a baby. I can't stop listening to those parts.

The thing that caught my ear in Track 4- Drop Anchor, was that in the chorus that fast guitar riff is a dead ringer for the riff from Darlene, a long forgotten Sigmund Blue song! Of course, in that one it was a lot slower, but that is it! I wonder if it is a great coincidence, or maybe it was living in your subconscious? hehehe The thing I miss from this song, though, is the characteristic Greg drum sounds. Big, booming, compressed set sounds with a LOT of room mic. Of course I know you had no room mic for this, but if this song needed anything, that would be it.

The groove is STANKY on Track 5- Recipe for Ruin. (this is a GREAT thing).  I'm really hearing your acid jazz stuff and jam band roots. And in the big instrumental - the "boom-da boom-da boom-daaaaa….. wow wow. boom-da! wowdala-woodle wowda woo… boom-da! wowdala-woodle wowda woo" Yeah, at that part- makes me nostalgic for that spectacular album that the Doors did after Jim died. Called "An American Prayer." They're playing basically instrumental parts under Jim reading his poetry. It's very jazz. There's sort of a main theme through the whole thing- an instrumental theme. That bit there reminds me of it. It's soooo good. I love the way you mixed this song. The Rhodes sounds great.

On track 8, Faith Proposal- loving the way this starts. My ears were like, whaaaa? Did my ipod skip to another album? But then your vox come in, and I'm like uh oh DAMN! What's up?!?! I was like dang, greg was wearing his booty-shakin' pants for this one. I also like the vox harmonies you're doing in this one. 

Track 9- Bargain Song- This one you'd given me a taste of a while back. Love the touch of the flute samples in there. And, the driving rhythm is great. What are the big sort of chorus (as in choir) sounds at the end? Really cool.

Track 12- Validation- this is just so proggy and wonderful. The synth is particularly great at the intro.

And we end on a ballad. Ahhh.

Man, I gotta say. I've listened to this all the way through maybe 4 or 5 times on a few different things (headphones, speakers…) and it's really starting to settle in with me. I really thought about giving you a review later after I'd had time to listen more, but i really wanted to get you a review before you did the big launch. It's gonna take some time to take the place of my Count Gregula favorite, "For My Part'" but it has time! I'd say the only overall critique I have is I wish your vox were louder on most of the songs. Not that your mixes and techniques don't work for the songs— because, they do fit your aesthetic for the album— I'd just like them louder for selfish reasons!


Review of the album For My Part
By Brandi Parker (Tella, Sigmund Blue)

I have so much to say about this album. It's solid. Rock solid. It's growth, it's hope and it's happiness. I can't believe the tremendous jump this record makes compared to your other records. It sounds as if you've moved forward lightyears in arrangement and effects and production and mixing and and and and... 

More specifically it sounds like an old, wise soul created this. In a way I feel like you're channeling everyone in rock history's experiences and their trials and errors and techniques and have put forth this exquisitely crafted piece of art. I guess I could say it's all of classic rock's best attributes put together in one place. And i mean that in the best best possible way.  I can hear elements of George Martin, Paul McCartney, REO Speedwagon, Led Zepplin, Steely Dan, Stone Temple Pilots, Tool, and John Mayall with his Blues Breakers. There's even some punk in there. I'm intrigued and I'm excited. 

In the past, there have been moments where I felt some of your songs could be predictable, but i feel you have totally broken out of that completely here. Every single track. I've written songs alongside you and heard all your albums up til now, maybe it's just I can predict things. like you can probably predict what I'm going to do with my shit. We just get to know each other. But these tracks are totally keeping me on my toes here. 

The vocals sound supreme on Friday at 10, by the way. Really love what you've done there.

Oh and the keys on Amazed. Great flavor.

One of my fave tracks is The Middle Ground. I'm a sucker for that progression. Also this sounds very 70's like early 70's Claptonesque. Maybe a little Jethro Tull. Love the envelope filtered guitars. 

Which by the way, you have so many creamy guitar tones on this piece. I can't believe the silkiness you're getting. and edge in all the right places. All over this album.

The drums sound fantastic on every track 

Vocal harmonies surround me like a warm hug everywhere.

Your guitar arrangements have just super-developed since the last album. The effects are sweet, the playing is super sweet and the parts are really nice and weave together comfortably.

Uptempo - Heathaze is really really nice. Just rocking as hell. My butt is vibrating to the beat.

So, in conclusion, I'm bowing down to you right now. Great fucking accomplishment, Greg.


Review of the cover song Sun On Fire
By its composer, David Michael Tafe

Oh man!!! This is f&*king fantastic!!!

I must preface by saying that any attempt I make to express my own wonder and admiration will fall short. This interpretation is just fantastic—in the realest sense of the word (if the fantastic can be real). I guess this is what will defy expression here: it is, to me, a realized fantasy. This tune, among others, by my efforts, live in a suspended state of development rather than a completed state. Evidence for this is found in abundance: mistuned guitars, missed cues, poor edits, etc. Your interpretation, on the other hand, relieves this suspension and gives to a tortured and slowly dying thing a noble and worthy death.

Aren’t we all, musicians, anxious to give to our products a final seal? Though I certainly believe your admiration for the song is sincere, you are just far enough removed from it to give to it this final stroke. It is done, and with all human error from it removed it has a new life in its fixity—perfect and immortal.

I want to be careful not to vulgarize what is to me the ineffable talent which led us here, but I am at first struck by the moody character you have given this track. I so often come to a tune as a technician—a worker trying to cut a marble block rather than an artist trying to reveal David. You have imbued the track with this airy nothing touch that is just enveloping. It is as though you see the song in its totality in a way that I never could.

The vocal performance is great—very relaxed rhythmically. I think in your vision the meter of this song flows more fluidly. It’s probable that I was trying to make a point with the ¾ to 4/4 feel thing so I accent the two left over beats going into the verses. The technician in me wants the listener to miss this shift but the musician to take pause at it; in other words, I want the musician to say “wait a minute… what just happened?” I’m wondering when you first attacked this song if you had to consider rendering the beat in 3’s or 4’s or if you just felt it out. I’ve always been fascinated with slow ¾ and how it can be interpreted as 4/4 with slight irregularities. 

Dude, I could write and write and write, but what I want to say is that seeing this song from a vantage point otherwise unreachable is a pure joy. And, as always, I am overwhelmed by your ability and talent. You are in possession of, or are possessed by an amazing force.

Now I have to do the same thing to you [referring to covering a Greg Goldman song]. I hope only that I can be as gentle and faithful to your music as you have been to mine. Seriously Greg, BRAVO!

P.S. Is there an electric 12 string in there??? Maybe I’m hearing things. :D