Friday, July 26, 2013

RECORD REVIEW: Jeff Stanton "Circles"

Jeff Stanton 

Jeff Stanton has long 
maintained a distinguished
presence on Florida's Space
Coast music scene. Recently, 
he stepped out from the 
comfort zone of his various
band projects to release 
his debut solo record.

Jeff Stanton's Facebook profile lists his age as 27. However, he clearly was born in the late '60s and was cryogenically preserved in the early 70's — only to be thawed-out in the  mid  80's — timed perfectly for him to deliver authentic, organic, heartfelt and well-crafted pop songs to today's "Gaga" generation. There's just no other logical explanation.

The self-produced record starts out strong with "Ride" and "My Friend" — simple yet solid, straight ahead rock ditties. But hang on, it gets even better. This 11-song collection of original soft-pop gems is so intoxicating, powerful and at times, even chilling, that it likely would prompt Brian Wilson himself to step back and declare, "COWABUNGA, DUDE!"

Singer / songwriter / musician, Jeff Stanton.
Aside from Ryan Perez' solid drum work throughout and John McGuire's trombone track on "Electricity," Stanton provides all of the necessary musical ammo needed to launch this baby into orbit. Everything, that is, except for perhaps his secret weapon. As an admitted "sucker" for violin, I gotta say that Seth Chipman's contribution is what distinguishes Circles from a really good record, and a truly great one. Hence, Chipman's violin talent presented on "Circles," "Indecision," "Electricity" and "How Does She" makes for the record's crowning jewels.

Although Stanton's honest and pure vocals certainly are engaging, the four-minute instrumental, "Sanddune Lullaby" also is another stand-out track. Simply put, the Monster Magnet-like acoustic guitar riff, married to the hypnotic percussion, creates an ultra-groovy vibe. I'm feeling it man. I'm freaking feeling it!

In sum, Jeff Stanton has created an absolutely incredible record, one that showcases his superb songwriting and seemingly unlimited musical skill — a record that's stripped down, yet well-produced — and one that sounds so retro, it's fresh.

-Christopher Long
(July 2013)


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