||GREGORY LYNN HALL
'Heaven To Earth'
Release Date: Out Now
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
I recall thinking to myself that for me personally the song stands up despite bad production values or varying distractions.
Over a course of time my thoughts regarding this are slightly tainted and one example that popped to mind was 'BANG!' by British Rockers Thunder. In comparison to the sound they captured on all of their previous albums, this album was by far the worst.
Thankfully the songs still stand up thanks to the handy work of Luke Morley, but still I found myself considering such things whilst spinning 'Heaven To Earth'.
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The sound comes across rough and it distracts from the music a little which is a real shame. I understand budget restrictions can be an obvious factor for artists and bands recording an album or anything else for that matter, but it does hinder what could have been a top quality Melodic Rock affair. The tinny sounding drums and muddy-ish result that arises once all the instrumentation battle each other, nearly derails what are some fine ideas.
Moving on, Gregory started out dabbling in music at the tender age of three years old! Tackling gospel songs over at his Grandma's place with his cousins might not have been the traditional way to follow the long hard road to being a multi-instrumentalist and finding his niche in the music industry, but here he is nevertheless.
Gregory essentially plays everything on the album which is both admirable and impressive, but this doesn't stop him from collaborating in places thanks to a cast of special guests. Craig Goldy pops up to play some guitar on the title track, Mike Turner does his thing on 'You Got Me 'Runnin'' whilst Johnny Navarro provides some touches on guitar during 'Mama Said'. Billy Liesegang and Jeff Duncan both pop up too adding their professionalism in the guitar department with some drumming being handled by guest Bandit Bellamia.
The 101 South lead vocalist does his best on songs like 'Ordinary Man', 'Cry No More' and 'Stars In The Night' which all capture various vibes and show how good this guy is. There are upbeat rockers, ballads and tempos between which all provide welcome changes of pace. It left me thinking how good these songs would sound live and also frustrated that the album doesn't do them justice.
The bluesy 'Cryin'' is fun and sticks its fingers up to naysayers who might suggest he shouldn't be doing the blues. On the 11th track and final bow, Gregory shares a slow bluesy side on 'You Got Me Runnin''. There's a rasp in his voice which is full of soul and feeling, and all I get in response to such a performance is how much I'd like to see him live one day.
'Heaven To Earth' is full of talent and experience, expertise in musicianship and song-writing – but fails to execute the sort of sound which these songs would blossom within. There are some good songs here without a doubt, plenty of emotion and varying shades of personality with guests to boot – yet there is a moment of distraction and frustration. You know how these things go, it is all relative and subjective. For me this album is a near-miss without losing sight of respect for what is an evident talent in Gregory Lynn Hall.
Rockin' The Road
Stars In The Night
Heaven To Earth
Cry No More
I Thought I Saw Heaven
You Got Me Runnin'