Artist Review #2: Anton Cullen – Breaking Through EP You

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

With great pleasure, we are bringing back one-man EDM powerhouse Anton Cullen to the platform, and for very good reason.

Since our previous review of his single “Breaking Through”, the elite producer has put together an EP of the same name, featuring two more very diverse and mind-bending singles that clearly shows evolution of Cullen‘s artistic merit and versatility.

First new single is “Heaven On Earth”. An uplifter with a very subtle intro that eases into a solidification of melody, progressive measures, and a nostalgic euphoria for the ears. It’s a great track that really shows a whole different angle to Anton Cullen and his innovative take on EDM and production value. It’s a toned-down, feel-good song that definitely expresses a unique and universal tone that skyrockets the likability factors of this EP altogether with this single alone. In essence, this is a track that is impossible to dislike.

Shifting over to a different shift of moods, we have the second and final fresh single “Warfare”. Where Cullen really kicks it up a notch with some very effective twists and turns and video game pacing that really puts the throttle into overdrive. With some 80’s influences into the mix, we have a modern take on some of the classic root-elements of electronic music with some industrial touches, making this song one of the most versatile listens you’ll run into on this EP. From tempo changes, fast keyboard action and masterful production elements, this song really puts out a relentlessly energetic feel that will likely put your mind into a physical plateau of musical lust. It’s a brilliant track, and some of Cullen‘s best work to date.

All 3 songs from this EP (including the self-titled track we previously reviewed) are all different sides to a brilliant producer well on his way to something much bigger. Each song brings different components to the table, and even though you never hear the same thing twice, you can still sense that it’s coming from the mind of the same creator. If you haven’t discovered Anton Cullen yet, you’ll be glad you did now.

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Artist Review: Natasha Jane Julian – “Now I Know” Single/EP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky


When it comes to turning heads and capturing the ears, renowned Pop recording artist Natasha Jane Julian does exactly just that with her recent EP Now I Know.

Natasha, from a small mountain town in Southern California, gained a lot of her on-stage experience as a showgirl, performing relentlessly in theatres and dance shows. When Natasha moved her stomping grounds to the landscapes of Florida, her experience in music hit the ground running when she joined forces with an eclectic band called Psychedelic Mist. 

A handful of shows and an EP later as a band, Natasha decided to spread her wings of versatility and began to find her vision as a solo artist by the time 2015 came around, and respectively departed from Psychedelic Mist. 

This is when Natasha began her Artist Development process, and decided to take time off gracing the stage to hone her craft, find her sound, her musical niche, her inspirations as well as aspirations, and even learned piano during this time, which took place around 2016, and even added learning some guitar during the process; refusing to leave a stone unturned. 

After some years of blossoming into a solo artist, Natasha Jane Julian released her debut EP in June 2016, Now I Know. The first single from this freshman-effort was her Rock-influenced track “Gemini Twin”. The EP received positive reception, critical acclaim, and eventually prompted Natasha to make her rounds throughout the cityscapes; she currently has an elite team of musicians now gigging her original songs all over the US, UK, and more.

But the one that really stands out is her EP-title track, “Now I Know”. A song that’s tight, well-put-together, and charismatic. Natasha‘s mid to high singing approach breathes life into this song and really parallels the musicianship, as well as structures. It screams with melody as well and fits every piece of the song like puzzle pieces. So I have to really tip my hat to Natasha Jane Julian. Her musical acclaim and path is very promising.

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Artist Review: Wounded Spirit – “Stand Up (featuring Har-Q)”

Review by: Justyn Brodsky


When it comes to production value, this band supercharges it with top-notch quality and beautifully executed multi-genre, multifaceted, and even multilayered qualities. 

Wounded Spirit‘s extremely versatile single “Stand Up”, featuring some rhymes and bars from Har-Q, and also accompanied by an entertaining animated music video, pulls out all the stops to give you a song that not only puts great energy and moods in the air, but also gives you an uplifting message and the hankering to, well, stand up. And perhaps jump around and dance quite a bit.

With witty verses that Har-Q delivers us in a very unique and clever manner, we also get some very clean and impressive vocals with an excellent range; and gives the song high likability factors with the sharing of the verses, and really prepares you for a very powerful chorus that not only deepens the message, but is also utilized with an amazing post production mix that includes a choir-stylized and almost gang vocal-edged way of making this song’s chorus explosive and unforgettably melodic. It’s a flawless chorus that really captures your soul, and your knack for dancing.

Whether intended or not, the avatar-stylized animation is not only fun to watch, but brings a nurtured humor with it as well. And now that I really think about it, I’m more than positive that the video was intended to have its humor. It really adds to the song’s (and band’s) overall character; the charisma, the message, the good-nature of having fun, and playing the music they really believe in.

It’s hard to really pick out one defining factor that sells you on this song. There are so many positive twists and turns, top-notch production value, and amazing Songwriting structures that turns this song more into an anthem. You’ll be very surprised at just how impressive Wounded Spirit is. They’re not a band that needs several listens to “grow on you”. They’ll grow on you right from the very first listen.

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Artist Album Review: Elix Risqué – “Champagne Problems” LP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky


One thing about this EDM-oriented Pop Artist is the strong image and versatility. Elix Risqué has put together a very infectious collection of tracks with the artist’s release Champagne Problems. A rollercoaster of emotions, upbeat anthems, and ballads that really showcases different angles to the artist.

With a captivating low-to-mid range voice, we get a great start with energetically opening track “Come to Life“. A fun, witty, catchy song that captivates both the EDM and Pop sensibilities that perfectly parallel each other to get both elements of the song expressed in the strongest ways to showcase this track. 

The follow-up tracks , “Dark Stranger” and “I Bet You Like It” sticks to an upbeat formula that really brings forth the energy and still beckons a signature sound that sets Elix Risqué apart from artists that attempt this prototype of EDM or genres that express this type of versatility. They’re very addictive, and really portray a style you don’t hear everyday with this type of EDM-oriented execution.

Next track, “Losing Control”, has in my opinion, the best vocal structures and catchiest hooks on  this LP. The syllables are correctly placed with some of the best melodies that have been conjured so far on this record.

The track “Do You See Me” is definitely one of my favorites. It’s one of the ballads of the LP with chord progressions that allow some of the best vocal structures and melodies to be integrated into this track. And Risqué doesn’t take any risks with this; the vocal melodies and powerful ear-catching chorus takes full advantage of the open opportunity to put together something powerful, and utilized this opportunity in the correct direction.

And that’s what this album is about to me–utilization. Knowing where to put these songs on this album and where. Having an ear for detail and to keep the listener listening. It has an energy and subtle crossover that breathes ambience into this album as well. It’s a great album and it’s one that will captivate you with its versatile and raw sound.

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Artist Review: Mercury & The Architects

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Dave Welsh


As Plucky Duck would say, expect the unexpected. But with a multi-genre group with a chemistry unlike anything we’ve heard in quite some time, Mercury & The Architects really put together something raw, fresh, and akin to sonic alchemy. Their dark and melodic approach is transcending, but regardless, the stars really aligned when their songs were put together.

“The Wolf” starts with dark melodic piano and a cleverly shared intro that switches between the male and female vocals. Then after leading into a synchronized duet between the duo, we get an astonishingly unexpected uptempo beat that really kicks this song off and gets your head bobbing along as it progresses into something more. The duality that is conveyed between the male and female lyricists tells a very multi-layered and multifaceted story, which leaves enough room to let your imagination parallel with the song’s themed likability factors. Although dark, it has elements of what an uptempo EDM modernized pop song might have, however this darker spin diminishes the pop sensibility and instead indulges in something versatile with influences from The Clash, The Cure, Danzig, and Blue Oyster Cult. A blend that has yet to be touched on in the EDM world, making “The Wolf” an entity of its own.
The theatrical and melodically string-oriented track “Genesis” really shows a whole different side to this artist. This track is far more structured with twists, turns, and mood swings that really show different components of the writing style and use of different plugins and post production. The low-to-mid vocal range really sets the tone for every song, and brings a charismatic nature that is powerful and versatile. The climactic Hip-Hop sequence really adds to the song’s depth and character of how the song is put together. It’s a track you’ll find yourself coming back to and hearing something more each time. It ends brilliantly subtle, and leaves you frozen in your seat.

“Machine” is very lyrically insightful with a sort of Adele influenced vocal approach, but more stylized and original. The Hip Hop sensibility is more at the forefront in the verses and really captivates the energy that this song garnishes with the soft and sensual female-vocal chorus. One thing that sets Mercury & The Architects apart from your contemporary artist is their content and arrangement; elements and chemistry from the lyrical content to the versatility of how each track is executed with different moods, concepts, likability factors, deep insights, and a style that always keeps you guessing. This is an edge-of-your-seat experience, as it has been with every track we’ve heard. You definitely won’t hear the same thing twice, and each voice carries its own weight to make each song a gem; something that is truly unique and stylized. 

Like any other group, there is probably a story behind the artist name. However to us, looking from the outside in, the group name definitely fits with Mercury being a flowing metal and the architectural arrangements and precision of each song puts justice to being synonymous with an Architect and songwriting. 
If you crave amazement and something completely mind-blowing out of the box, then Mercury & The Architects do justice.

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Artist Review: Jennifer Hope – “My December” (Linkin Park Cover & Chester Bennington Tribute)

Review by: Justyn Brodsky


In this last 1-2 years, between the losses of many music icons like Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden / Audioslave), Prince, David Bowie, and most noticeably for Jennifer Hope, Chester Bennington (Linkin Park). 

And with her cover & tribute version of Linkin Park’s “My December”, I must say, I haven’t had goosebumps over a tribute like this since Tori Amos’s Piano/Vocal version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” back in the 90s under the same mantra and concept that Jennifer Hope brings to the forefront with this cover.

It’s not just a run-of-the-mill Piano/Vocal cover, Hope really brings the vocal sensuality of the verses that parallel the same vocal delivery intended by Bennington himself, and puts a strong and even raspy tone to the chorus that once again brings the expression of the original version. 

But despite all the similarities, Jennifer Hope breathes new life into this song and performs it with that kind of simplicity that showcases her strongpoints in talent, emotion, production value, and true meaning in her artistic merit. She really lights up the room with this version, but still brings forth a darkness that beckons the Soul of the original version in all the right ways. 

This tribute was also released with the intention of bringing the components of suicide prevention & awareness, which currently has an active fundraiser that Jennifer Hope put together to support the cause and utilize the song into the hopes of helping others through the fundraiser. 

This Linkin Park cover is definitely a version that will give you the shivers and really put a sensation and aura of pure emotion into you with the beautiful swells from the Piano parts and mid-ranged vocals that tie in perfectly with the song’s production value and beauty. This phenomenal version will not only amaze you, but will entice you to see the bigger picture. The centerpiece of what Hope put into this tribute with her undeniable talent, and the awareness that should not be overlooked. Take a listen to this tribute, and also check into her GoFundMe campaign as well and contribute to a selfless cause that is far too common among today’s youth and pop culture.



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200th Review Special: Craymo – A Look Into his Artist Bio

Article by: Justyn Brodsky


Welcome to a very special 200th Review special.

We have a special, special treat for you all as we look back on an Artist that has been one of the most supportive, just as much as he is as a talented one that’s graced our Review platform and continues to strive for success with catchy, versatile songs that deliver very positive messages, and also a story about how he’s come this far in his journey and what the promising future holds for acclaimed recording artist, Craymo.

Here’s what we had to say about his anti-bullying themed hit single “Be Myself”:

It’s very rare that an artist reaches out for a review, and is armed with music that is insatiably captivating and original. With Craig Raymo‘s multi-genre mind blowing single “Be Myself”, we get just that with so many clever twists where it almost can’t be put to words. This is one for the books on the Artist Reach platform.

With this track, as Plucky Duck would say…expect the unexpected. Starting off with a hand-clapping and crowd participation inspired intro, we get the perfect introduction into the dynamic and charismatic vocal approach that Raymo showcases, all while maintaining one of the catchiest hooks to prepare you for what’s to come in the following measures.
Anticipating a possible generic Pop-influenced track, we instead get a stroke of genius and mind boggling acoustic infused pre-chorus that you didn’t see coming at all. This song will put you in awe by this point, and when the powerful chorus jumps in with Raymo‘s multi-layered harmonies with perfect precision, you’ll easily understand what makes this song the gem that it really is.
This song is the perfect combination of the best of 90’s style Songwriting and today’s Pop sensibility and production value. It’s just a track that needs to be heard to be believed. You’ll have this one not only on repeat, but passed among your friends as well. 
I go way back with Craig Raymo, so in a way I was expecting nothing less than something amazing. But this track exceeded my measures by a landslide. This is a must-hear on all counts. Raymo is also Director of Publishing for company powerhouse Moho Productions. Listen, research, and reach out to a brilliant artist and person altogether.

And looking back on this review, we believe this still hits home. This song is amazing, as is Craymo as an artist altogether. But we wanted to take the next step and go beyond the review for this Artist. Giving you all a chance to get to know Craymo for who he is as an artist, and what brought him to his success. This is not only an honor, but also a first for us on the Artist Reach platform. And if there’s one Artist I can especially think of that is worthy of going behind the scenes to get his career’s story more out there, there’s no better man than Craymo. An Artist Reach family member for life.

An Artist is Born:

Craymo was born Craig Stephen Raymo in Massena, New York and grew up in nearby Ogdensburg, a quiet little city on the St. Lawrence River bordering Canada. Music seemed to possess his soul from an early age as he had always tried to imitate the singers and bands emanating from his little 45 rpm record player. In 3rd grade he picked up the alto saxophone taking lessons from Kenneth Van Winkle, father of future Grammy winner Dixon Van Winkle. Craymo continued taking lessons and played in elementary and Jr. and Sr.High Bands and the school Jazz Rock group. Craig wrote his first song when he was 16. He sang in the school choir from elementary through high school. The young performer craved the stage and graced it every chance he got joining the local vaudeville style minstrel group Showtime. Craymo performed in community theatre and high school drama and musical theatre productions.

As a senior in high school he took interest in DJing and got a job spinning at Big Ed’s Dallas Lounge and also at a local radio station where co-workers first started calling him Craymo. Craymo went to Fredonia State University majoring in Broadcasting with a minor in drama.  

 

Moving up and Manifesting:

Feeling the call of the big city, Craig left college and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams. He soon landed acting gigs in the TV soap operas General Hospital and days Of Our Lives, most recently in The Watchman’s Edict (2017), The Misadventures of Walt’s Frozen Head (2017) and the HBO original film Recount. All the while focused on his music, Craymo wrote hundreds of songs and started recording demos in Los Angeles recording studios. He auditioned to be the lead singer for several bands but ultimately realized his destiny was to be a solo artist. The determined young man took vocal lessons with R&B pioneer Bobby Womack and recorded a demo of one of his songs. Craymo then met record producer David Longoria who took him under his wing and recorded his first professionally recorded song “Love Touch” and filmed his first official music video. Then they went on to create several more songs including Craymo’s first EP entitled “Be My Girl” whose title track was licensed in the indie film Paper Thin Immortals. The next video was “Take It Slow” with a sixties beatnick vibe and the song was licensed in the indie film Accidents Don’t Happen. Craymo appeared as a male vocalist on Star Search 89 with Ed McMahan. He formed several backup bands and got booked at many lucrative venues such as the Whiskey A Go Go, The Roxy, Genghis Cohen and opened up shows for Smashmouth, The Plimsouls and Fishbone. He then met record producer Chris Irwin and recorded several songs in his Malibu studio. Craymo then ran into his old friend, songwriter and producer Brandon Jarrett. They went into the studio and magic happened. Combining their song catalogs into one company, Moho Productions, LLC. They recorded “One Love One World” which became a worldwide phenomenon being featured on the United Nations project UNESCO web site http://www.newsongsforpeace.org. School teachers all over the world downloaded the song, taught it to their students who then performed it at their schools in the USA, Canada, China and Australia. The opening scene in his music video for “One Love One World” features students in Pang Liu Village in China who were taught to read English using the words and music to his song.

 

The Acclaimed & Inspirational Artist:

Craymo is an award winning songwriter winning Best Male Easy Listening Artist in the 2017 Indie Music Channel Awards. He is also an anti-bullying advocate who recently won back to back Worldwide Music Contests. In Version 3 he won Best Song for “Be Myself”, his anti-bullying anthem and in Version 4, Best Video for “One Love One World (We Are One)”, another anti-bullying anthem that also promotes equality, tolerance, brotherhood, human rights and world peace. Craymo won Best Alternative Recording in the 2016 Indie Music Channel Awards for “Moment”, a song promoting suicide prevention awareness. His song “Love You More” won Best Alternative Recording in the 2015 Radio Music Awards and was a Finalist Best International Song 2016 Australian Music Oz Awards. Craymo has been a semi-finalist and finalist in several songwriting competitions including the 2012 Australian Music Oz Awards, 2012 Hollywood Music In Media Awards Unisong, the Hollywood Spiritual Film Festival, UK Songwriting Competition, Pacific Songwriting Competition and the Artist Undiscovered Competition. His songs have been licensed in the indie films, Lucky Dog, Culture Shock, Gabe The Cupid Dog, Cinnamon, Super Southern Sweet Sixteen, Miss Castaway, Leaving Hollywood and Successful Failures 2. Craymo has licensed several songs in television including The Mysteries of Laura (NBC), The X Games (ESPN), The Orlando Citrus Parade (SYND), Sinbad’s Reality U (pilot), Toddlers and Tiaras (TLC) and Chris and John To The Rescue (Canada). Craymo is currently receiving airplay on commercial and internet radio all over the world.

Musical influences include: Duran Duran, George Michael, The Beatles, Morrissey, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie, Elton John, Sting and The Cars.

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