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“Overload” Puts Chris Luciani In The Game
Keyboardist, songwriter and singer Chris Luciani steps up to bat on his “Overload” EP (Precision Records) to take a swing at the fastball to rock & roll fame. While none of the five tunes featured on his debut release fly out of the ballpark like a homerun hit he does manage to get safely on base and hold his own. But in this game that achievement is impressive enough for any first time hitter.
Since I’ve used the baseball analogy to begin this review (and we are now about in the middle of the major league season) let’s keep that ball rolling. In my humble opinion singer/songwriters, just like baseball players who are defined by not only their batting abilities but also their performance in the field, must be measured in more ways than one. The metrics used in the latter may be applied to the former.
When at the bat behind the microphone Luciani displays a very good cut. He may not always perfectly connect with the metaphorical ball but what he lacks in precision (which is, coincidentally, also the name of his record label) he makes up for in passion. While not always coming through with consistent homeruns throughout his five songs he does manage to consistently get on base. Good examples of the stronger base hits are the title track “Overload”, and “Paradox”, the last number in the lineup. These two are solid triples.
The other three ditties don’t get him as far around the bases. “Distant Memories” and “All My Life” are well earned doubles with some interesting twists. “Empty Hearts” is the bunt that barely carries him to first. Still, it’s a worthy batting average for a rookie player.
Now on to evaluating his performance on and out in the field. Being up at bat is strictly a solo act. Playing well in the field is a combination of a solo effort coupled with teamwork. Here is where he falters a bit. The team, well in this case it’s his band mates, still have some play they need to work out in practice. They all play reasonably well, just not always together. When the ball comes their way they catch it OK, but unlike a team in synch there’s that moment of hesitation in knowing what to do with it next. And that moment of decision is what can win or lose the ballgame.
Since I’m unaware of whether Chris Luciani records with veteran band members, or whether he’s laying tracks with the hired guns we classically call studio musicians, it’s difficult to diagnose this issue. In general his team shows promise, but what it'll take to get them up to par for the playoffs and finals is probably that tired old punch line to that tried and true New York City joke about a man who gets into a taxicab asking the driver if he knows how to get to Carnegie Hall and receives the dry reply of, "Practice, practice, practice…"
All and all this newcomer deserves some attention so take a listen and see what you think about his game. As the umpire behind the plate would inevitably say at any game, “Play ball!”.