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Bobby Edge Made Me Cry

I've tried writing this review a half dozen times. With each, it seems to be equal parts about me and the album itself. If you choose to read along, then hopefully I articulate some pertinent information. If you choose not to, then I encourage you to skip all the story telling in the middle and get to the end where I give a synopsis of what I think of it. With that caveat, here is the tale...

My dad was an old school rock n roll guy. He was the perfect age to see its birth and then its progression. Every now and then he would find an artist or band who he absolutely loved and then made sure to listen to whatever new music they made. Among these, and maybe the strongest in my memory at least, was Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys.

As I was growing up there was always music in our house, and I being my father's son, chose to listen to pretty much anything but what he and my mom wanted to listen to. I was a little metal head and the "classics" I loved were pretty much the opposite of the bands he loved. He always mentioned that, for the most part, the 70's let him down with rock and he switched to the outlaw country acts, as they were called at the time. Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willie and Waylon, Merle Haggard. I couldn't do it. So naturally, I began to gravitate to new wave and punk!

One afternoon, as we were talking about what was playing on both our record players currently, he stopped and said "have you heard this?" This was Pet Sounds, and I'd never be quite the same after hearing a genius put every bit of his heart into a record. I'm proud to say that a lot of what I do now is that simple basic act of "have you heard this" given to me by my dad.

As I listened to more new bands, so did my dad. I'd come home and try to get him into punk, finding bands who I thought would appeal to what he already enjoyed. The 50's rocker in him dug Social Distortion, but not so much Joe Strummer (too political). One band that we ended up both adoring was Bracket. The Brian Wilson influence was undeniable and we both agreed it was something unique and special. And in a way, it was ours, we'd sit and listen on the couch and just be.

I had a rough day at work. Some things had happened, and really what I wanted to do was vent to my dad. He had always been my goto for work related stress and bs. Since that's no longer an option, I put Algorithm and Blues on for a listen in my car on the way home. Something new that I hadn't heard from a person I dig. And that's when Bobby made me cry.

"H.W.S. (Intro)" came through my speakers, and immediately I was thrown back to sitting on the couch with my old man. A modernized, Brian Wilson influenced, short instrumental that caught me completely off guard. I knew that Bobby had departed from Jukebox Romantics to pursue his solo material, but I expected raucous punk rock. Not a love letter to a band from the 60s.

"Momento Maury" and "Endless Suffer" (a play on The Beach Boys Endless Summer?) delivered a punched up version of the sunshine and sand sounds from long ago. Waves of happiness began washing away the stress. A cover of the classic "Ain't That A Shame" proved to be too much. How many times had I heard it with my dad at car shows or in his garage while he worked on his cars? The tears fell. Somehow my dad was right there in the car with me in a perfect moment, listening to the album with me.

"Civil Wart" kicks in the doors a few tracks later with a hybrid blistering hardcore/melodious harmonized fusion reminding you that this isn't a throw back, as much as a way forward. Taking the influences and bending them into modernity.

Algorithm and Blues is a thing of beauty. Ten tracks filled to the brim with soul, from a man who knows what he loves and isn't afraid to show it. Modern, yet timeless. The harmonies are perfect, the vocals are so smooth you could butter your toast with them. Shining guitars and rhythm work together like a bright yellow highlighter on the lyrical content. If I had to use one word, it would be: perfect. This beautiful record is guaranteed to be my number one of the year. Anyone that can give me the feeling of a little more time with my dad and make me cry has definitely earned that spot. My dad would have loved this one. I'll have to love it enough for both of us.

Long winded I know. If you skipped here to the end go read that last paragraph and then go buy this album. It is absolutely a must have, and I don't hesitate saying anyone releasing a record this year has an uphill battle taking this out as my number one pick.

Show Bobby some love because he's a great guy and a great musician. Even if he did make me weep like a kid with a skinned knee.

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Algorithm and Blues is for fans of: Brian Wilson, Bracket, 60s harmonies, Musical geniuses

Uncle Damon is the Review Chief for Beyond the Pit, Co-founder and President of Bypolar Records, and a founder of the Scene to Shining Scene co-op. Enthusiastic supporter of artistic endeavors and spreader of chaotic good wherever he goes.

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