In a town full of aspiring singer-songwriters, Greg Tannen must be one of New York City’s best kept secrets. His two previous releases, Roam and Coney Island, were crammed with the kind of slick, acoustic laid-back folk pop that won him a string of prestigious songwriting awards and invited stylistic comparison with such luminaries as Jack Johnson.
Tannen’s third solo effort, Rocket triumphantly carries on in the same vein, wrapping unforgettable melodies around his smooth, undeniably commercial vocals and a sharp, crisp production that belies its small budget. The immediate melody of jaunty opener “Something About October” gets the album off to a superb start, and the memorable “On a Holiday” is a glorious slice of summery pop.
“Things Don’t Always Work Out” is a little more downbeat in tone, but still impresses with its haunting piano flourishes and yet another smooth hook line. The evocative “Beautiful Day” details the simple joy of seeing blue skies and sunshine, while “Save Us From the Light” demonstrates once again the diversity of Tannen’s songwriting.
However, the outstanding moment of a stunning album is the quite brilliant “Somebody True”, which packs a real punch with its soulful vibe and accomplished musicianship.
Rocket is the work of a singer-songwriter at the peak of his creative talent, who on this evidence, should be aiming for the stars.
Greg Tannen: www.gregtannen.com