chuck martin - genius boy music
Chuck Martin isn't only an award winning singer/songwriter but is also a distinguished professor at The University of Florida, called by Reuters one of the most influential chemists of the 21st century. His Wikipedia page states, “he is a nanotech guru and a pioneer of membrane-based template synthesis of nanomaterials.” Martin has found time to educate thousands of freshmen chemistry students as well as record five studio albums and numerous EP’s. Martin recently released Genius Boy Music, which is an eclectic, polished twelve-song studio album that flirts with many different genres such as jazz, Americana, rock and rockabilly to name a few. Even though the album is quite diverse the songs never feel so far from each other that listening to it in sequential order is cumbersome.
Martin also likes to inject some humor into his songs, which he never takes too seriously. That being said the songs don’t feel too silly for their own good.
The album starts with “Heppest Cat,” which is an upbeat song that tips its hat to rockabilly. Martin combines jangly guitars, a walking bass line, drums and a wild lead harmonica as canvas for him to loosely sing over. It’s a quick jolt of energy barely eclipsing the two-minute mark. Martin quickly takes the energy level down a couple notches with the Tropicália-type vibe on “Love Springs.” Listening to the song creates a natural sedative effect that made me envision hammocks and palm trees. “High Cotton” contains a bit of melancholy as well as orchestral strings that work well in the mix. The highlight of the album is arguably “Hit 10 Joints”. It’s a fun, unpretentious song that is quite humorous. I loved the lyrics and it was a catchy song that covers some material you will probably be familiar with about half way through.
“You Won’t” has a very similar feel to the Grateful Dead song “Ripple” while “Need to Be Told” has some very technically impressive flamingo style lead guitar. The album concludes with a brief dose of nostalgia. Martin reminisces about his life on “Best Days.”
It’s hard not to be envious of people who can do more than one thing really well. In Martin's case his music feels so unpretentious that it is hard not to enjoy. The songs on this album are well written and feel incredibly honest. It is highly recommended.
5/20/2014 01:16:20 pm
You captured my album beautifully, Matt Jensen. Thank you for the kind words.
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