Reviews for StopGo
Stop Go is a corker. It’s a non-stop thrill ride of power-pop riffage and Britpop soul. Once again busy guy extraordinaire and Holmes himself, Roy Shakked, plays most of the instruments himself and still somehow manages not to kill himself writing great pop. He does occasionally use his usual lineup of super cool, legendary, and brilliant studio folk back him up when he can’t play the trombone, guitar, and accordion at the same time. But for the most part this is the demented effort of one guy on a mission to make incredible pop music.
It’s really rare to come across a CD a listener can just play without skipping over the bad songs. Stop Go is worth putting on that V.I.P. list
Holmes has a level of polish that can only come from someone who’s been making music for some time… a slow burning, surprising album that takes some time before it reveals all its splendours.
Sometimes you cannot dine on a single entree and crave a smorgasboard. In the same way you can listen to your power pop and want a variety of styles and influences. Holmes (aka Roy Shakked) has a feast here sure to please power pop fans (Okay, enough food analogies here). Using the basic structure of The Beatles, and Electric Light Orchestra, Holmes carves out lush orchestral/lounge pop. On the liner notes, he classifies the style categories as: Power Pop, Rock Ya Body, Rock Ya Soul, Heartbreak Ballad and Little Diddy. This is a good guide, but I’ll elaborate here – Holmes uses Cello, Saxophones and Accordian, to put together a beautiful series of ELO-styled ballads like “Nevermind” and “Nothing at All”. He has gathered a dream-team of quality players here, including Lyle Workman (Bourgeois Tagg) and eleven other musicians. “Be Alone” is pop via Fountains of Wayne type rock tune. “Another Week” has melodies that bounce along with a bit of quirkiness similar to Tally Hall (see below). Although the mid- tempo songs are good, they can’t compare to the ballads here. “Gray World” is my favorite tune here, and the ELO comparisons are more subtle homage, than the stylistic note for note copying of Bleu’s L.E.O. Seek this music out and your soul will be shaked and baked by these teriffic ballads (I knew shouldn’t have skipped dinner). Holmes will go on tour to support this album this June. Visit Holmes site to hear the entire album streaming and then order it directly! more
The truth is, whether or not they’re out to change the world, some folks just write solid tunes. Such is the case with Holmes. Stop Go is a collection of 12 songs that offer something for the ear no matter what mood you’re in. The album has its fair share of toe-tapping sing-alongs, yet displays a depth on its slower ballad-esque moments that balances the feel nicely. There is undoubtedly a Beatles influence pervasive throughout — songs such as “Another Week” and “Nevermind” could even pass for revamped lost tracks from Magical Mystery Tour — as well as others from the rock n’ roll era, but with a modern spin… The album is well produced, yet the vocals retain more of a live feel, tastefully avoiding effect over-saturation. Holmes’ unique touches polish the album enough to shine.
Top 10 – Best Power Pop of 2007.
Stop Go is one of the more engaging power pop productions of this soon-to-be-one-third-over year. Mixing in pop influences as varied as Ben Folds, Jeff Lynne, Jellyfish, The Beatles, and maybe even a dash of Beck, he still manages to create an organic enough pop sound that in six months’ time I’ll probably be referring to some other artist as Holmeseque.
The piano is Holmes/Shakked’s primary instrument, although he doesn’t use it in as dominant a fashion as, say, Folds. The opener “Five Days a Week” (Beatles nod?) rocks along with a poppy punch that recalls The Argument, while “Wake Up”, his signature track which anchored his self-titled EP of last year, is a delight that crams in more “na na na”s in 3:23 than “Hey Jude” did in 7 minutes. You’ll go, not stop, with the title track, which bounces along like “Getting Better” with a more rocking guitar riff.
He can do the slow stuff too, as piano-and-acoustic-guitar ballad “Prove Me Wrong Again” proves, with its Penn/Brion/Dolieslager sound. Other highlights include “Gray World”, which has enough Harrisonesque slide guitar and orchestration to come off as a combination of a typical Jeff Lynne/ELO ballad with Badfinger’s “Day After Day”; “Be Alone”, a more “modern”-sounding track that has handclaps galore, and “Nevermind”, another lushly orchestrated ballad. Even the closing instrumental “Daydream No. 57″ isn’t bad, and I hate instrumentals.
Delivering instantly accessible, chart friendly songs.
A refreshing cross-section of musical genres. Holmes serves up punchy Rock, tuneful Power Pop and even smooth R&B… Chances are you’ll be hearing a lot more of him everywhere else very soon.