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Articles Home » 2012 Articles » Hafeman, Bart - 2012 Zero Gravity
Hafeman, Bart - 2012 Zero Gravity

ARTIST: Hafeman, Bart
ALBUM: Zero Gravity
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2012
SPONSOR: Bart Hafeman (Spotify)


LINEUP: Bart Hafeman - lead vocals, backing vocals, drums 'Galaxy' * Rob Daiker - all other instruments, backing vocals

Guests: Dan Reed - backing vocals 'Rocket To Mars' * Keith Schreiner - keyboards 'Rocket To Mars' * Jennifer Batten - guitar solo 'Galaxy' * Michael Conner - backing vocals 'Galaxy' * Joe Mengis - drums 'Fly', 'Love Remains', 'From Above'

TRACK LISTING: 01 Galaxy * 02 Forever * 03 Fly * 04 Rocket To Mars * 05 Strawberry Girl * 06 Middle * 07 Rewind * 08 Dancing In The Rain * 09 Sky Turn Blue * 10 From Above * 11 Home



A few years back, I took a listen to Oregon Christian Metal band VU. Their 1999 album 'Just As I Am' was roped into the same paddock as Def Leppard and Sure Conviction, but it really was the brain-child of Bart Hafeman, who has a knack of writing some good material. Moving on several years, it was surprising to see Hafeman still out there cranking out tunes with his next band Hit Machine, which is a very successful Oregon band but more in the modern pop/rock vein now, the melodic hard rock style of the past now consigned to the back of the class. Interestingly, Hit Machine's keyboardist is none other than former Dan Reed Network member Blake Sakamoto. Beyond Hit Machine, Bart has now sprung a solo album 'Zero Gravity', which was released last year, but I'm giving it a spin as it's available on online service Spotify, and was pointed out to me by Bart to give it a try, and I surely am. Some interesting names appear on the guest-list: The funk master himself Dan Reed appears, so too guitar wizard Jennifer Batten, all adding to an inspired release. Production was handled by Rob Daiker (Katy Perry, Meredith Brooks), plus Rob handles a lot of the instrumentation as well.

The Songs
The songs are sugar-sweet and snappy, and takes us back to a time when this modern pop/rock was all the rage. Timed for maximum impact and minimum duration, much of the material wouldn't look out of place on those seminal albums during the nu-breed era. Blasting off with 'Galaxy', the tight twisting arrangement is a veritable sugar-bullet and a pre-cursor of things to come. Jennifer Batten guests with a fiery typical mind-bending solo. Ooh yeah! There's some lightweight guitar chugging leading out 'Forever', sort of like an ultra-poppy Cheap Trick. A few of you will get into this. 'Fly' is the next catchy track, harmless but the sort of song that will buzz about you in an annoyingly melodic way, especially that go-to chorus. Keeping the astronomical theme in place, 'Rocket To Mars' is not a Buzz Lightyear faster than light excursion; more a cruisy adventure on a slow moving space vehicle with a ton of melody in the cargo-hold. Some spicy modern keyboards introduce us to 'Strawberry Girl', a pleasant bubbly pop ditty that will go over well with some of you pop fanatics. 'Middle' is a funky percussive piece, still in the confines of Hafeman's pop recipe but also close enough to pass as a Dan Reed Network offshoot. 'Rewind' is appropriately named, a sure-fire 1980's reminder of three decades past. 'Dancing In The Rain' is the closest to what is perceivably AOR, a slight hint of John Parr in the mix. The most laid back moment on the album is 'Sky Turn Blue', a mostly acoustic ballad, and though the following 'From Above' is also acoustic styled, the latin percussion and flowing arrangement sounds as if it could be a song suited to Miami's jazz/R&B club circuit. 'Home' is the final piece of the puzzle, another graceful and mild affair with some lush keyboard orchestral flavours included.

In Summary
Well I am pleased to report that 'Zero Gravity' did not have any effect on my physical perspective whatsoever. Yes, you do get a sense of lightheadedness listening to this album; the music is lightweight and harmless fluffy pop. Just the right ingredient to blow away those Rage Against The Machine and Tool like hardened arteries that some people exhibit. Yes, there are comparisons to everything nu-breed related that occurred between 1997 and 2002, but 'Zero Gravity' is nothing more than a reminder of that time, its position is magnetically attracted to 2012 like an electron whizzing around a nucleus of protons and neutrons. Have a listen on Spotify if you knows what good for you.

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#1 | gdazegod on April 20 2013 02:47:25
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#2 | gdazegod on April 20 2013 02:47:41
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#3 | gdazegod on April 20 2013 02:48:02
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