George GritzbacH Masters the Game on New Album Full Circle

By Deuce

It’s been said (many times, more than likely, but the time that stuck for this reviewer was when Slim Kid 3, formerly of The Pharcyde, dropped this little jewel) that you can tell a hit record from the first 10 seconds, if not five.

Good ol’ Trevant may as well have been talking about “Never Far Away”, one of the myriad stunning adornments on George Gritzbach’s newest album Full Circle. As soon as this one comes on, everything about it—the melody, the groove, the embodiment of the horns, that rapid relief of the bass as it crests on an easy, mid-tempo pace—screams of perfection.

Forsooth, it sounds like one of those tunes to catch you off guard on the oldies station, Sunday afternoon waning into early evening, the cooler running low and that song, some transporting, transcendent ditty from another time, enveloping and sweeping you away.

I mean, the hook is only a bar or a half bar but somehow, the singer/songwriter manages to encapsulate flawlessness in it, with all the other elements—the breezy organ, the horns (did I mention those yet?), the entire ensemble—simply not able to get any better.

The thing is, although “Far Away” reaches a particular summit of excellence, the rest of the tracks aren’t too far behind. That sentiment especially applies to “All About Now”, which fools you with the suavity of its bass and the crescendo of the horns (seemingly each time they’re played, if such a thing were/is possible) before Gritzbach deliver a rousing lecture on the vocals. These motions counterpoint one another for a fun, easily accessible number.

In fact, the surety of the instrumentation and the aptitude for songwriting (and even production) displayed on this album are not easily come by, and more than likely take a considerable while to master. “Sweet Misery” is positive proof of this tendency of Gritzbach and his band.

Again, this is a throwback type ode to what “War” was putting down as the late 60’s spiraled into the 70’s. The organ truly sets the tone, the electric guitar is unmistakably bluesy, and there’s a distinctly plaintive feel that makes this tune unequivocally one for vibing.

This theme repeats itself over and over on this 10-track album, evincing that Gritzbach knows a thing or two about churning out hits.

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