Jerad Finck – Criminal EP
The title track starts this EP, and I’d have to say that I’m not a big fan of this kind of over-produced pop music. However, I can listen to this and hear what it would sound like as a song without all the heavy handed production. While this is definitely arranged to be a modern pop hit and will sound dated and trite very soon, the basis of the song is good.
“Blood in the Water” doesn’t feel nearly as overproduced. It is a stronger tune, too. I didn’t find myself having to ignore the arrangement to get through this one. It’s too modern pop for my tastes, but it’s also very catchy. “Pieces of April” seems to steer in a different direction. It’s more of an alternative rock ballad. In a lot of ways, it’s not that far removed from some nu-metal. It’s one of the best pieces here.
Although “The Good Life” is catchy and entertaining, and avoids most of the overproduction, it’s not one I like as much. It’s a bit too generic pop rock to me. The overproduction is back on “Fire Proof.” It’s not as bad as the opener, though. Still, it really hurts a song that’s otherwise pretty good. “Take Me With You” also suffers from overproduction a bit. The song just doesn’t really grab me, either. That combination leaves this as one of the weaker ones to me.
I don’t know what it is about the modern philosophy of overproducing music. It’s annoying when sounds are turned into something that doesn’t even resemble real music (or voices) or when you can tell that every sound came from a computer. While this one doesn’t suffer from any obvious vocal fiddling around, some of the songs are definitely overproduced. It takes away from the charm that’s present throughout this set. This would be a more timeless and stronger release had they resisted that kind of thing.
Review by Steve Rafferty