13 Dec 2009 // A review by Daniel Boom
ROY G & the BIVinators
(2009) The Rainbow Throw
If I stopped by at your place for a coffee and some of your weekly home baking, which I must do soon, and this CD was playing in the background, I wouldn’t say “Hey, you can turn that off while I’m here” or anything, I’d be fine with it. But I’ve found that sitting down to this album and trying to remain attentive, well it’s like a form of labour (the reason for that being that overall the songs are just too lightweight and too fruity).
I’ve been listening to two CDs in the car lately. This one, and a 1997 U.S. album called “Under The Covers” by Dwight Yoakam. I don’t need anyone’s help to tell me which album has more soul.
Speaking of soul, but more as a category than an adjective, Roy G and the BIVinators have been described as a combination of a few different musical styles: soul, folk, funk, ska, roots, rock, reggae, jazz, electronica and hip hop. Sure, I can hear bits and pieces of the above. Well, I can hardly hear any jazz, this music lacks the chordal know-how of jazz. But a reggae (and ska) influence is there. Not overly hard to bring reggae into your music. Play guitar with a reggae beat (by the way, doing that doesn’t automatically make your song a good one). The reference to folk might be the sound of the “acoustic” guitar, while the reference to rock might be the “electric” guitar. Hip hop comes in the shape of track 3, “Take It High” with its vocals saying a whole bunch about almost nothing. Discussing styles of music in a review is like dropping names I reckon. Someone says “Hey I like soul, folk, funk, ska, roots, rock, reggae, jazz, electronica and hip hop, and you’re telling me this group combines all of that? By joves, they must be good”.
The least annoying song on the album for me is “Constant Companion”. Excuse my lily ass but I like the 3/4 timing.
Hey, don’t let this review put you off Roy G and the BIVinators. I mean, really, what would I know? The music has a little bit of humour (at least I hope
that it’s humour), and the lyrics, even if self-righteous in places, make at least one good point in Track 1 (Everything You Hear): “You should not necessarily be listening to me ‘cos you cannot believe everything you hear”. That’s one Roy G line I agree with.