Hardyman is the lead vocalist here and much of the material showcases her voice, which has considerable power and range. Massey is certainly no slouch at vocals either and is largely relegated to duets and backups. The most memorable moments on this debut CD occur during those climactic points when both singers are engaged. Being consummate professionals at this point, their phrasing and vocal harmonies are first-order.
Massey’s string arrangements, a trait surely sharpened when composing the rock ballet, are also of note. You can sense Massey’s command on “Realize,” “Arms of Grace,” “Across the Bridge” and the very impressive closer “Velvet Storm.” These tracks have more prominent melodic depth and sophistication.
“Realize” opens the recording in dramatic fashion, an intense composition with effective vocal interplay between Massey and Hardyman. A similar interplay occurs on “Not Pretending,” a heavily orchestrated pop song comparable to some of Elton John’s work circa “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.” “All of Us” is notable for an Eastern-flavored vocal refrain from Massey that puts twist on what is essentially a great pop-rock tune. The tune features an appearance from local hip-hop artist Rob Dz, giving the track a contemporary feel.
There are distinct modern country elements that spring from Hardyman’s vocal style. “Arms of Grace” is an example of this, a hook-laden, mid-tempo ballad driven by acoustic guitar. “Sweet Rain” is country ballad all the way.
stoptheclock has a breadth of material ranging from heart thumping memphis blues style tunes such as "Who's That Girl", to ambient melodic synth-rock songs like "Velvet Storm", which has the ebb and flow of a Coldplay or U2 composition. Other songs, like "Sweet Rain" and "Arms of Grace" have an easy, timeless, country-rock feel.
stoptheclock is a profound collaboration of diverse artists and songwriters capturing the soul of melodic pop, rock, and southern roots of country. Best described as "new wave pop/country".
stoptheclock's unique and wide range of style and material is born from a collaboration of distinct and incredibly compatible writers and musicians. Singer/songwriter Briana Hardyman fronts the band with a resonant style that incorporates classic country and an edge of Nashville grittiness. Michael Massey and Joel Pingitore create a blend of arrangements that can lead songs toward the vein of multi-sensory bands like Pink Floyd. Tony Cerniglia and Frank Queram take songs such as Cerniglia's "Talk to Me" and "One Day" into beat driven midwest country blues/rock. The common factor behind this seamless collaboration is that the material has no boundaries and is truly timeless.
stoptheclock has a breadth of material ranging from heart thumping memphis blues style tunes such as "All Worked Up", to ambient melodic synth-rock songs like "Velvet Storm", which has the ebb and flow of a Coldplay or U2 composition. Other songs, like "Sweet Rain" and "Arms of Grace" have an easy, timeless, country-rock feel.
stoptheclock features performance-driven, talented musicians, playing well-written, thought provoking songs. Soaring vocal harmonies, incredible keyboards and tasteful guitar licks, backed by an air-tight rhythm section make this uniquely original group a must-see.
Universal and intimate subject matter, beat-driven freewheeling blues, rock, and alternative country songs engage, move, and uplift the listener.
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