Julian Leal – A New Beginning (2014)

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Something of a synth-pop revival is happening these days, so Julian Leal’s A New Beginning should have no problem attracting an audience.

Peaking in the early 80s, synth pop took its handle from the fact synthesizers were utilized as the primary instrument. Brandishing a mechanical but efficient feel, the music was often tagged the younger cousin of disco.

All the characteristics defining the genre are exercised to smart effects on “A New Beginning,” with songs such as “So Good Your Love,” “Rave It Out,” “It’s Time To Shake It Up,” “Let’s Go Outside,” “Rises And Shines,” and the title track holding forth as special favorites. Breezy melodies, blinking with life, frame the songs, while Julian’s pure and clear Beach Boys inspired vocals add extra helpings of harmony to the electronic patterns and textures.

Catchy songwriting, combined with imaginative breaks supply A New Beginning (JLI Records) with vitality and direction, sending the album to the top of the synth-pop pile.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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