Thursday, May 04, 2017

Wayne Olivieri-Eclectic Mind

Oneway Records

Wayne Olivieri (Rockids, Oliver's Twist, and Oliver Wylde) is a highly-regarded New Jersey rock n' roll veteran that has shared the stage with everyone from The Ramones to Bruce Springsteen*. Available on sites such as CD Baby and iTunes, "Eclectic Mind" is the first solo album for this talented singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. It opens with the heartfelt number "She's My Girl" and over the course of thirteen distinctive tracks it covers a lost list of topics, most of which are extremely personal. Starting his career as a musician at the young age of 17(!), Wayne Olivieri is never shy about his feelings as can be heard on songs such as "I'm In Love Again" , "Never Made A Stand" , "Mom" , and "In The Heart of A Man" . After moving past the slightly silly "I'm Broke Again" we are treated to "Music Man" . A self-reflective look at life as a musician, "Music Man" is a country rock number with a western vibe! It is just one of the many genres that Wayne Olivieri successful covers on this enjoyable CD. With the help of guitarist Brian Hadley and pianist Simon Gannett, "So Bad To You" is a thoughtful number where Wayne admits his shortcomings as a lover. Interestingly it is placed right before "I'm In Love Again" which is arguably one of the most sincere love songs of all time! As Wayne sings lovingly about a new partner, "I'm In Love Again" becomes a number that is worthy of Meat Loaf's work with Jim Steinman! The beautiful song is also the starting point of a string of exceptional numbers! From "I'm In Love Again" we get "You And Me" , "Never Made A Stand, and " Glory". These three tracks are different from one another and yet they each point towards the many skills of this remarkable New Jersey front-man. With " You And Me" the listener is treated to a beautiful piece about love and friendship. Admittedly it brought about a emotional response from me. The same can be said about " Never Made A Stand". While I actually fought tooth and nail to keep my marriage together, " Never Made A Stand" hit very close to home as I still think about the loss of my marriage. The line " Music makes me happy when I sing" seems simple enough and yet in the context of the song it speaks volumes about the little things that we do to work through the pain. With only the piano and his voice alone, Wayne's performances on " Never Made A Stand" brings to mind Elton John! Somewhere along the way many a good band could have been great if they had brought Wayne into the fold. After listening to this album I find it to be a real tragedy that Wayne isn't more well-known! There are moments on this album where Wayne sounds just as good as Metal Loaf, Elton John, Rod Stewart, and every member of The Beatles!! It begs the questions as to why he never made to to the main stage? I guess that's another question for another time. Moving on," Glory" is old time rock and roll at it's best! The number brings to mind everything that there is to love about classic rock radio. It talks about healing the world and it all starts with our children. " You Gotta Work" includes some dynamite sax on what is essentially 60's rock meets 60's R&B. Meanwhile " This Is How It's Supposed To Be" is a easy going number that reflects on the importance of family and friends. On " Mom" Wayne loving pays tribute to his mother while " Then We Danced" is a solid number (if admittedly nothing overly exciting). Closing things out in style is " In The Heart Of A Man". Yet again Wayne puts his heart and soul into a smooth rocker. Mind you it is one of a few tracks that Wayne didn't compose himself, but all the same it is a cool number that I could honestly see Aerosmith turn into a hit! It's a great way to wrap up this versatile album from Wayne Olivieri and friends**. With this album as good as it is here's hoping that Wayne Olivieri will finally get the proper recognition that he deserves. If enough people get turned onto this new Jersey rock veteran then maybe this will lead to more great music like this fun disc. I'll be keeping my finger's crossed for that.

*It seems as if Wayne has shared the stage with just about EVERYONE! That includes Blondie, Twisted Sister, Huey Lewis, Cindy Lauper, The Talking Heads, Billy Idol, Southside Johnny, Aerosmith, and Jon Bon Jovi!

**A lot of really good musicians worked with Wayne on this album. There are too many to name, but they all did a great job nonetheless!

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