The Como Brothers have released their new EP “Imagination”; the six-track EP was recorded with Grammy-winning producer Graham Marsh (Bruno Mars, CeeLo Green) at Germano Studios in New York City. Grammy-winning drummer and producer Steve Jordan (of the John Mayer Trio and formerly of Eric Clapton’s touring band) and keyboardist Andy Burton of the John Mayer Band join the brothers for this project. The brothers have also performed with Aaron Sterling, popularly known as the drummer on Taylor Swift’s massive hit ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ (Sterling performed at the “Imagination” EP pre-release show in New York). The brothers have come a long way from performing in a Beatles family tribute band on Long Island during their youth; since then they have been featured on Billboard.com and have supports acts such as The Wallflowers, David Cook, Howie Day and Tyler Ward, among many others. Enjoy our review of the Como Brothers’ “Imagination” below.
‘Good Enough For Me’ opens “Imagination” with a superb drum groove and a simplistic chord progression. The vocal melody sung by Matt Como is appealing; the production is great and the storyline progresses well during this extremely likable track. The song is very well put together structurally; it’s just excellent throughout. The vocal harmonies are truly on point during the excellent choruses, too; this is where the production really shines. Alternating chords in the choruses provide a bit of much-appreciated variation as well. The bass begins to walk and groove in the second verse and is highly adept throughout. The bridge, which is new and intriguing, is a very solid part of the song, leading nicely into a first-rate groove that then ushers in the final chorus. The extremely melodic guitar solo is another highlight of the song, one that features a sing-along outro that continuously re-emphasizes the song’s title. The groove of the song really is amazing and the instrumentation is absolutely magnificent. It is reminiscent of John Mayer, somewhat naturally so, being that two of the featured musicians have performed with Mayer regularly; Jordan’s drum tone is fantastic and wailing organs, played by Burton, close the song. The only misstep was the two measure lead-in to each chorus; this wasn’t necessary and could’ve been forfeited, as the band should’ve gone right into the chorus from the verse instead. ‘Tell You I’m Fine’ follows with a similar groove and an outstanding, emotion-filled vocal performance by Andrew Como in the regimented yet lively first verse. The first verse (and subsequent verses) are very exposed and more acoustic guitar and vocal-led. Another interesting bridge follows, the chords chosen intelligently for this section. Similar in instrumentation and memorability, ’Tell You I’m Fine’, through no fault of its own, is a marginally weaker extension of the opener, only because its predecessor was so remarkable. ‘Chemicals’, the third song on “Imagination”, is sung by Matt Como and features another exciting groove. It is reminiscent of a number of songs that have been radio singles; ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams is one that comes to mind. The electric guitar’s tone is outstanding, and Como’s vocal performance here is absolutely excellent. Everything about the song is incredibly memorability and well thought-out. This is an extremely deliberate, intelligent composition recorded in fantastic quality; additionally, backing vocals are placed intelligently throughout and the lyrical content is smart. The whole song is strong, especially the second verse, and the bass really grooves during the guitar solo. ‘Chemicals’ is truly an exceptional example of what these brothers are capable of.
‘Make My Heart Move’, again sung by Matt Como, is familiar and likable as well. The song alternates between two chord patterns, the verse chords differing from those found in the choruses. Extremely short verses lead right into the choruses and before you can blink a bridge, which is recognizable and a bit too cliche musically, enters before quickly exiting. The lyrics contained within this number aren’t as strong as those found in previous offerings, and while the choruses are musically-appealing, the vocals could be improved slightly. ‘Imagination’, sung by Andrew Como, features a piano intro and beautifully-performed vocal parts. I love the lead guitar parts in the verses; they are very Hendrix, Mayer-ish and are performed splendidly. The song’s main hook (“I wanna hold you forever, I wanna do like I should, but if I can’t love you whenever, I’m gonna sleep in for good”) is the most memorable section of the song, followed closely by the line “please don’t wake me up, when I dream of you”. The song’s intriguing melodic guitar solo is also appealing, playing out before a major 7 chord closes the song beautifully. A live version of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Bold As Love’ brings the brothers’ EP to a close. The recording picks up just before the chorus, a chorus that features expertly-played staccato bass parts. This is an extremely tight, beautiful cover. After all, Jordan and Burton should know this song well, as they’ve performed it with Mayer. Como’s vocal performance on this track is very, very good and the guitar play is outstanding. Everything sounds so good; this really is a spectacular cover, one that gives the brothers a chance to really show off their musical dexterity. “Imagination” is full of outstanding performances; I didn’t hear any errors, instrumentation-wise, at any point during the EP’s 21 minutes and 14 seconds of run time. Each song is structured well and likable, to boot. “Imagination” is a fun, compelling, highly-recommended listen, specifically the original compositions ‘Good Enough For Me’ and ‘Chemicals’.
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