CD Review: Charlie Farren's "Tuesday"
BOSTON - Charlie Farren’s latest CD release, titled Tuesday - his fifth disc of original solo material – proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that this veteran Boston-area musician continually grows as a singer-songwriter, expanding his repertoire well beyond his previously rocking ways with FARRENHEIT and The Joe Perry Project. Yes, there is a reason Charlie is a favored-son of The Hub.
Cover photo courtesy of Charlie Farren
Released on his F Man Media label, the premise of Tuesday is very special, for the title track was originally written by his long-time friend and fellow musician, the late-great Brad Delp, singer of the band Boston. After a radio engagement they had done together at a New Hampshire radio station, Mr. Delp had played for Charlie the song he had penned but never released... and after receiving the blessing of Brad’s family, Charlie gave the song his personal treatment and realized it was surely the missing piece to round out his new CD project. So much so in fact, that it became the album’s title and opening track.
It’s hard not to feel a certain amount of sadness when first hearing the song “Tuesday,” however, it ultimately evokes happiness as well, simply because this wonderful song now sees the light of day for all to enjoy. It is also easy to recognize the heart-felt ambition Farren poured into the track, complete with his delicate acoustic strums and strings courtesy of Cameron Stone.
Then, “Hold Me Down and Love Me” and “That Kind of Girl” quickly turn the mood to a more rockin’ vibe with slinky rhythms, tasty guitar riffs and fun chorus lines, (including wonderfully cute backing vocals from Charlie’s lovely and talented daughter, Veronica on “Girl”) before the atmosphere is reeled back to broken love and hope with the acoustic-driven “Middle of My Heart” and jazzy-like “Enough of Blue.”
“A Night Away” is a more upbeat love song featuring a smooth vocal lead, velvety background vocals, perfectly placed guitar solo and one bad-ass bass line. The foot-tappin’ “Phony Balogna” is another great number - all B-3, low-jazzy vibe reminiscent (to this listener, anyway) of “Wise Guy” from Farren’s 2009 release Old and Young - just a bit slower on the delivery.
“Filling My Life with Love” (co-written with Andrea Surova) is a hopeful acoustic track filled with smoky vocals in a stripped-down approach, while “Girlfriend Maria” is a catchy, uplifting sing-along that can’t help but make you smile and of course, sing right along. A song seemingly made for the radio airwaves.
The set-closing “The Shock and Awe of Love” is a song in which Charlie seemingly opens his heart to let these highly personable feelings shine through. The track also features more classic, perfect-phrased electric guitar work and yet another soulful solo. Truly a climatic ending to a collection of songs that left this reviewer feeling in the moment and satisfied.
The sessions were recorded and produced by Charlie at his home studio with the exception of “Tuesday,” which was co-produced with Anthony J. Resta (Blondie, Megadeath, Elton John, Perry Farrell) and engineered by Karyadi Sutedja(Collective Soul, Boston Horns, Guster). The slick CD packaging includes a color, inner tri-fold lyric sheet, which also references all of Farren’s previous recordings.
Charlie Farren, once again, delivers a distinctive collection of original songs that display his instinctive, ever-evolving songwriting ability, matched by his vocal charm and tasteful guitars and instrumentation throughout… and the man is also really getting to know his way around that F Mansion Recording Studio of his, thank you very much. All-in-all, this is quite a memorable work that certainly deserves your attention.