While he was never very interested in accessibility during his short, bittersweet career, Jeff Buckley's acolytes usually try to shoehorn his majesty, soul, and meandering sound into a more cohesive frame. On their eponymous Atlantic debut, Cali's the Red West accomplish this with more success than most, if only because Jayson Belt's expressive vocal sway can appropriate some of the feeling in Buckley's elegiac voice. The album moves easily between the harder and softer sides of adult alternative, with "Don't Fall In," "The Balance," and "Crazy Cold" embodying the former, more Buckley-ish side of things, while the light, shuffling acoustics of "Twenty-One" or the singalong "Days Die" are closer to California beachfront campfire rock. It's an ambitious mixture. Although The Red West is filled with hooks, the quartet takes its time getting to them, and takes some routes that might be unfamiliar to the casual listener. The aforementioned "Days Die" drifts into a crackling fiddle and muted trumpet interlude, while "Disappear" rolls along on a surging piano and horn melody. Sometimes, this ambitiousness can be revealed as pretentiousness. Belt sometimes gets carried away with the sound of his own voice, and an untitled set break track that seems to ruminate on the relationship between the crowd and the band is aimless and, yes, pretentious. This is accessible pop music, after all, and shouldn't be caught up in too much conceptual drama. Luckily, the Red West put most of their ideas into melody and interesting songcraft. The adult alternative fan who found Buckley's Grace to be beautiful, yet too opaque, should be right at home with the Red West's more obvious version of that searching modern rock sound.
Performance CreditsRed West Primary Artist
Brent Lewis Musician
Jayson Belt Group Member
Matt Bethancourt Group Member
Tim Weed Musician
Ryan Gleason Group Member
Ana Lenchantin Musician
Andy Smith Group Member
Giovanna Moraga Clayton Musician
Technical CreditsCasey Stone Engineer
Red West Composer
Mike Fonte Programming
John Majkut String Arrangements
Ian Christian Nickus Composer,Producer,Engineer
Ian Christain Nickus Producer
Darrell Smith Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Red West based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
I had never heard of these guys before, but they recently opened at a concert I attended. They by FAR outshone the main act, putting on an amazing performance and even being so kind as to greet fans and sign autographs after the show. They're not quite as amazing in this recorded format as they are live, but the CD is still pretty darn good...A true sign of a great band.
i heard this band a long time ago on an independent radio station and didn't hear about them for awhile then i sa the redord at a local record store and bought it. omg it is the best c.d. ever
Mr. Belt and the boyz, especially Mohawk Andy, have really put together a great piece of work. Anyone who has seen their concert knows their potential, and this cd really confirms it. Best 12 bucks I have ever spent. Can't recommend it highly enough. Miss their old bass player though. Nothing against the current player, he is good, but Ian was out of this world (cute too).