The title track to Vincent Poag’s For The Girls has a neo-reggae calypso-drenched pop dressing as the platform to the singer’s reflections and perspective on life and love. Mexican horns blend in with the heavy rhythms and vibes, kind of like Elton John’s “Island Girl” taking a visit to Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville.”
While Lou Reed was “Waiting for the Man” Poag responds with a dark, cascading “Waiting for Me” that could easily slip into an Evening of Kurt Weill. Poag blends multiple styles that at first glance seem incongruous to the formula, but somehow it all makes sense and in doing so the stylist comes up with a unique blend.
“Forever” is a more traditional, lilting piece with acoustic guitars, strings, piano and subdued percussion while sprinkling some Dylan/Ian Hunter flourishes in the vocals. Opening track, “45 Mile and Hour Girl” is cheeky in its clever – but silly – sincerity. It might have worked better as track three with “For The Girls” opening the disc, but perhaps they can do that for the vinyl in the days of iPad. Does Track selection even matter in the digital realm??? (I say it does.)
The CD album is solid Americana which could get some country crossover on adventurous stations. “Once Upon A Time” would be fascinating in the aforementioned hands of Ian Hunter. Poag reads the essay while limiting the vocal range over sweet violin and piano.
Diana Hope’s vocal on “Wonder” is reminiscent of Fairport Convention with a touch of Sandy Denny or perhaps Judy Collins with Celtic leanings with the formidable Mark Newman accompanying the band. Hope and Newman were also on Poag’s previous cd, Circling Back.
The music on For the Girls touches upon a wide array of genres. It’s an appealing something different offering a change of pace for traditional playlists looking for a little fun to shake things up.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.