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Articles Home » 2000 Articles » Nicholson, Greg - 2000 The High Trapeze
 
Nicholson, Greg - 2000 The High Trapeze


GREG NICHOLSON - THE HIGH TRAPEZE (2000, U4EA ENTERTAINMENT)
Greg Nicholson - vocals and guitars
Michael Starr - guitars
Hilary Jones - drums
Danny Leoni - bass


Background
From his press bio, you get the feeling that LA's Greg Nicholson has no illusions about how tough it is to make the breakthrough in the music business: 'I can't take any of this stuff too seriously anymore', he says, 'I just want to make the best music I can, music that speaks to people and makes people feel good.'. In some ways it's refreshing that Greg doesn't inflict reviewers with a press bio full of hyperbole and exaggeration, but at the same time you get the distinct feeling that this honest, some might say resigned attitude doesn't do him or his third album, 'The High Trapeze' any favours. It's not a bad record by any means, but after a few spins it reveals a few clues as to why Greg, from his own admission isn't waiting for a barrage of phone calls from A&R execs.

The Songs
Opener 'Stare' starts things off promisingly yet offers little to support the solo artist's assertion that his music is Matchbox 20 meets Vertical Horizon. Instead, it's more of a straight-ahead arrangement and pop/rock song that is melodic and catchy, yet missing that extra something that separates good songs from great ones. Following track, 'You've Got A Way' with a groovy verse and rocking chorus has the kind of punch the opener lacks. Next Up is 'Grace', a mid-paced ballad reflecting on lost love and a nice song that falls down with the inclusion of such cliched lyrics as 'I guess there's nothing that lasts forever/except for the wind and sea/I know I should move on/but the feeling is so strong/that you and I were meant to be'. Come on, haven't we heard this somewhere before? Indeed the problem I have with the album is that it is lyrically uninspiring and tends to trample the well-worn AOR subject paths of lost love and unrequited love once too often. Songs such as 'Home Again', 'Lost' and 'Run To You' offer nothing different or out of the ordinary and let down the second half of an album that might have been improved with a few co-writes here and there to freshen things up. However the trio of 'Undertow' 'Beautiful Disaster' and 'Ultrafine' offer the most promise of all the tracks on 'The High Trapeze', displaying the right amount of slamming rock and modern edges. 'Ultrafine' in particular is bold enough to take a few chances and in creating an atmospheric, slightly different feel-good tune, manages to get away with them. A few more like this would have been a treat.

In Summary
It's clear there's no lack of talent here, as Greg produced, played and sang on most of the album himself. What's missing is a vitality and vibe exciting enough to fulfil that promise, as on the whole the record is characterised by perspiration rather than inspiration. Greg is expressive enough to realise he wants his music to speak to people, but from listening to 'The High Trapeze', maybe it needs to tell them something different.

URL: www.gregnicholson.com

Track Listing:
01 Stare
02 You've Got a Way
03 Grace
04 Undertow
05 Beautiful Disaster
06 Ultra Fine
07 Shelter
08 Home Again
09 Impossibly Blue
10 Right Here Right Now
11 Lost
12 Run To You

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