Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz
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Joel Smith Project – My Shadow |self-released, Adam's Awakening, 2011|
The Joel Smith Project, a one man army, has come up with a new song entitled "My Shadow" which is a bit different to his previously released tracks. This time Joel ventured deeper into genres like hard rock, alternative metal and grunge, so the final mix sounds heavier as well.
The song opens directly with vocals and guitar riffs. The tempo is slower with low octave bass underlined by drums and a rhythm guitar that collaborates with them. The arrangement of the lyrics fit into the song very well, but the chorus sounds fantastic with echoing vocals that match the overall moods.
There is a guitar solo that is just as convincing as in previous songs Joel has released, although he arranges his guitar solos not to be overtly long or too intrusive. Lots of guitar players tend to show off with their technical skills, tattooing a song with an overload of riffs, but Joel purposely doesn't go too far. In fact, it's hard to believe that one man could perform each instrument on an entire song, including writing the arrangements and jumping into the roles of at least 3 other musicians.
His songwriting skills let him build successful compositions, however he's been a guitar player since he turned 18. Whatever tune he develops, it seems to sound witty. Joel did a really great job with "My Shadow" because he caught, analyzed and repeated traditional characteristics from the 90's alternative music scene, although he applied these attributes to his own style of playing.
This solid composition released on the Adam's Awakening album holds interesting peaks and repetitions. "My Shadow" is an enjoyable song that a listener can make the most of and could be a good candidate for radio airplay purposes as well. Each aspect of the arrangement has been placed in the right spot, so you'll find this track ear-friendly, even if you don't dig guitar driven music that much. However, if you're a fan of Paw, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains or Bush, then "My Shadow" is undoubtedly for you.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, September 17th, 2012. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens)