Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Scott Grimes-Livin' On The Run (2005)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: September 24, 2014

"You've Got A Friend". Carole King's famous 1971 classic has stayed on my mind and in my heart for literally weeks and weeks, whether it was her magical original or any number of the seemingly oodles of warming remakes of it—most recently, the rendition by the English rock band THE HOUSEMARTINS, and not too long before that, the beautiful pop cover performed by famed celebrity icon Scott Grimes. It was only moments after hearing the latter on the multi-talented star's 1989 self-titled debut album that I determined I'd become hooked, eventually realizing that I'd become fixated on his amazing voice after so many countless, repeated listens to the rest of the fine songs on that album. All the while, I had no idea this was the same man who had portrayed the popular Dr. Archie Morris character on the widely-watched hospital drama, "E.R." and has lent his acting and vocal talents in a wide variety of other entertainment venues. So, considering that I wasn't aware of Scott's celebrity status—including me not being the must-see watcher of "E.R." that other fans of the show surely were—you could say that his 1989 album was the first time I got officially acquainted with him, even if it's already like two decades old. Loved that album to death! And I still do, as I continue hearing "You've Got A Friend" echoing through my mind, as well as another favorite of mine, "Pressure Down". So naturally, I'd set my sights on getting his second effort, "Livin' On The Run", and had been looking forward to rewinding back in time in order to hear why it too was so highly acclaimed. That amazing voice? It's still here! Hadn't changed very much since his younger synthpop days, actually, though it's clearly matured. And the fresh new adult contemporary style? It suits that voice wonderfully, especially when it becomes hard and gritty with a rockstar attitude on rollicking energetic numbers like the opening title track, "Best Days Of My Life" (I was ALL into this jam, and you gotta love hearing his recounting of his yester-years, not to mention that bombastic drum roll at the very end!) and "Summerthing" (felt a little bit of that sunny country spirit in the lyrics to this one). Though the very first golden moment for me was the hit song that's as great as it was advertised: "Sunset Blvd". If you like those mellowed-out numbers with the feel-good stories that stay stuck in your head long after you've heard them, then this one's for you! I myself had stayed stuck to it for a day and a half before moving any further, even jumping down to the 'Alternative Mix' that is the exclusive bonus that you get with this digital release. It's those tender-hearted tunes where I've come to really appreciate the former "E.R." actor's vocals: "I Saw You", which grows into a monster power ballad when the thunderous rock tears through the delicate piano and violin melodies in the song's second arrangement; "Carrie" (not a cover of EUROPE's power ballad, as I thought for a split second, but it is a great song about a sweetheart whom you can tell was very special to him, given his strong delivery); "Rock 'N' Roll Girl" (not much rockin' and rollin' happening with the beat and the rhythm at all, ironically, but the slowed-down tempo works wonders for receiving the words to this song) and the reflectiional "Four Piece Band (Those Were The Days)". And of course, the forever instrumental music lover in me appreciated the 2+ minutes of non-vocal serenity with Track #15's "Finale". So ever since my ears took in Scott Grimes and his take on "You've Got A Friend", I really do feel like I've got a new friend, and now I'm wanting to go the run with his other musical accomplishments:

1. Livin' On The Run
2. Sunset Blvd
3. I Saw You
4. Best Days Of My Life
5. You Come Around
6. Carrie
7. I Wanna Be There
8. Summerthing
9. There Ain't Nothin'
10. Rock 'N' Roll Girl
11. Around & Around
12. Without You
13. Hollywood Sign
14. Four Piece Band (Those Were The Days)
15. Finale
16. Sunset Blvd [Alternative Mix]

No comments: