Perhaps the giveaway here is the revelation that the first six cuts got recorded in ten hours. I'm not surprised at that, much of the CD sounds like it wasn't thought out thoroughly, a bit too frequently falling into the cliché and expected, sometimes the mundane. Cuts like Set Me Up have a pleasant atmosphere, but John Paul's voice is unfinished and the lyrics aren't quite what they should be…though the guy does nail it here and there. Chalk up the true professionality of Belmont Boulevard to the core guy, Dan Dugmore (guitar, pedal steel, and sessioneer for James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, etc.), as each song shines in his lines. It's not credited, but I have to suspect the gentleman arranged the songs as well. I've heard a good deal of his work and Belmont Boulevard very much sounds like it…and ya gotta love his rave-up elements in Chameleon.
John Paul has the right idea in a number of ways but really has to work on the singing voice (lessons perhaps?) and dwell on his compositions a little longer. All the basics are there but the personal stamp isn't…almost but not quite. Wouldn't hurt to get a drummer who knows more than one pattern, either. Varying just the tempo isn't exactly what most would call 'creativity'.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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