REVIEW: Joe Summers – Make A Move EP

Artist: Joe Summers
Album: Make A Move-EP
Genre: Rock

Wanting to know what I was getting in to, I checked out Joe Summers’ MySpace profile before listening to his EP, Make A Move. I have to get this out there: the cover art scared me. It would have been alright if the creepy black-and-white photo of Summers wasn’t plastered in the middle of it. But it was. However, reading his list of influences, I could tell this guy was serious about music, and not someone pretending to be a rock artist. Anyone who puts Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen on their lists is a friend of mine, so when I hit the play button, I was more than willing to give him my full attention.

Hmmm….what can I say about “Burning Brides?” It’s an honest song, and shows that Summers is a decent songwriter. It’s difficult to stand out with the typical break-up/my-ex-girlfriend-is-a-you-know-what theme. While it’s true this song is not unique musically or lyrically, it’s a song I’d want to listen to. Not the best track to start off with, since it doesn’t catch your attention or draw you in, but it’s a solid tune that showcases Summers’ talent. And until you build up enough credibility in the industry, that’s really the best you can ask for.

After Summers delivered on the first song, I was feeling a little more optimistic going in to the second one, and yet a little bit worried that this was going to be another ho-hum rock record. And as “She Wants To Get Out” started, I sighed, Here we go again…

Boy was I wrong.

This song tricks you. The music is standard for most modern rock songs, but the lyrics are unexpected. I listened to the chorus, thinking it was yet another song about a guy feeling sorry for a girl. Then Summers comes out with lines like the gem: “Shut up and make a move.” Finally! Someone who doesn’t pretend to join in the pity party but says what everyone is thinking. And, as an east-coaster who loves the ocean, I really appreciate his inclusion of the line “She’s never seen the ocean/ She’s never even tried.” It sums up perfectly how much this unnamed girl is missing in life. By the end of the song, I was singing the chorus proudly.

The same sing-along quality can be found in “Down.” It starts off mellow, with a nice little acoustic guitar going in the background. By the end, Summers is rocking out one again, singing his heart out as he delivers some pretty vulnerable lyrics. It almost feels as if the music is a mask for what he’s really feeling, but the words and his voice at the end are much deeper than the upbeat tempos would have you believe. By this point I’m really getting in to this EP. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good rock song.

Summers strips most of the music away for “Don’t Say A Word.” The piano is just subtle enough to enhance the music without overpowering the message. Any girl who listens to this will melt a little, especially with lines such as “I’m sorry for falling in love with you,” and the entire chorus. Sure, it’s another fairly typical musical pattern with a theme that’s been done almost to death, but Summers does his best with it and succeeds.

The EP closes with “Make You Mine,” which is not anything you’d think a person would write a song about. Summers should be the guy everyone hates: the one who steals a girl from her boyfriend when she cheats on said boyfriend with this new guy. I want to dislike Summers for writing such a pompous, mocking song, but I have to give the guy credit for having the guts to actually writing it.

Now I’m kind of on the fence about Summers. He put out an enjoyable EP that I wouldn’t hesitate to put on my iPOD. He doesn’t over think or overwork his songs, and they aren’t dragged out and too long. But am I truly a fan? I wouldn’t say so. He needs to branch out a bit, take a few risks, and sing about something other than girls. Make A Move is full of good songs, and I’d fully recommend blasting it if you just want something easy to listen to.

SCORE: 7/10
Review written by: Michelle Principi

James Shotwell
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