The St. Louis based one-man band Tidewater released the 3-song EP The Beautiful Life on January 24 through ROXR Records. Leading man Brett Allen recorded the EP through his third partnership with Sarah McLachlan producer Kevin Gales. The two created an electro-pop-rock EP dominated by Allen's higher range vocals and aided with Kenny Aronoff on percussion.
The EP opens with "Not Just Any Love," a song showcasing Allen's vocals as well as the Baylor University student's ability on banjo, mandolin, bass, and guitar. The chorus hits the listener in a wall of sound style. Of all three songs on the EP, this one explores the lowest of Allen's vocal range, the natural tenor hitting scratchy low notes to create a more mature sound.
The title track "The Beautiful Life" is immediately a much more electronically driven track opening not with guitars but with electronic whirs iconic of digital music. The John Mellencamp and Avril Lavigne drummer Kenny Aranoff's percussion is prevalent throughout the track and brings the digital sound down to earth alongside Allen's own vocals.
"Desire" opens immediately with heavy strings juxtaposed against electronic beats. The high-pitched strings against the techno-pop sound encourage a futuristic sound sewn together by Allen's soulful vocals. This track feels like a clever mix of the first two: the poppy "Not Just Any Love" and the more electronic "The Beautiful Life." Allen mixes his pop-rock sound with digital recordings to make a pop EP with a techno twist.
Tidewater has put together a release that combines soulful vocals, techno beats, and classic guitars to create a futuristic experience showcasing technology and music's merger. At a mere three songs, the EP is too short and lacks a certain depth, but is a fun listen appropriate for the full-time college student behind it.
- Review date: 2/3/12, written by Francesca Torquati of Jesusfreakhideout.com