|Nate Campany & The Serenade - The Only Bridge I Need (Album Review)
review by: Iain Robertson
Not since The Byrds or The Eagles arrived has there been a decent quality alternative-country rock sound, although Cleveland-born, New York-domiciled Nate Campany may set the cat among the pigeons with his current EP. Now that’s a term I have not heard for a while, which also provides me with my only niggle about this 27 year old newcomer. Look. Either you are a talented up-and-coming singer-songwriter, or you are not. Simple.
If you are not a manufactured ‘prodigy’, then you should have the music within you and should be desperate to get it out! Therefore, why create a four-track CD, when it costs as much to produce a twelve-tracker? The upside of my issue lies in the sheer excellence of Nate’s singing. His voice is unstrained and wonderfully mature for such a young-ish chap.
Meanwhile, The Serenade, his support group, consisting of no less than eleven, clearly like-minded musicians, produces a swirling, fulsome and delicious accompaniment to Nate’s luscious melodies, thoughtful lyrics and polished delivery. Although there is a distinctive country backdrop to his lyrical musings, undoubtedly aided by the steel guitar that lingers winsomely in the off-beats, there is an over-riding pop music value to each of the four tracks I listened to, not merely once.
The title track has a Byrds-esque quality to it, maybe with some hints of Mark Knopfler in his current guise, while ‘Shown’, the second track on the EP is slightly more wistful and demonstrates Nate’s vocal range somewhat better. The third track, ‘I Could Sing’, is more languid and displays a clear talent for stringing together a useful pop melody that could sit easily on today’s pop charts, which should come as little surprise, when you realise that Nate has constructed hits for artists as diverse as The Backstreet Boys, Brandon Heath, The Click Five and Ilse Delange. The final track, ‘Is This The End’ has a more typical singer-songwriter ring to it, with soft, lazy verses and a strong chorus. It all works rather well and his May tour of the UK is sure to generate the right sort of attention to escalate his efforts to pop consciousness. Eminently likeable, you will want to hear more, which has to be a good sign of potential greatness.