The first full length album by independent alternative rock artist Kyley Styles is by all means and intent a concept album of sorts. The liner notes describe the experience as: “LEAD SINGER COMPLEX” displays the contrasting emotions of 6 different split musician personalities – told through an in depth interview with the front man of the band. While his opinion may be biased at times, it is thought provoking. His honest answers to a female reporter’s questions are no doubt over the line – but he’s the lead singer. He can pretty much say and sing whatever he wants.”
Sharply witted and tongue in cheek content run rife through these songs. So expect to hear twisted one-liners like: “Being overworked and underpaid, I’m over-jerked and under-laid.” Each song, or couple of songs, is composed by different ‘members of the band’.
From the keyboard player who advocates peace over war, to the guitar player dealing with a bitter breakup, and the financially struggling bassist, still living at home with his parents, as well as the drummer who uses his ‘rock-star’ status to impress groupies. It’s of course the lead singer who wears his heart on his sleeve, and holds the fate of the band in his hands with the most emotional songs.
Trust me when I say I can distinguish an average album from an outstanding one. “LEAD SINGER COMPLEX”, of course, is an outstanding one. Right from my very first listen, this album skyrocketed into my sphere of favorites. But what makes it so special? Charm. Moreover, self-critical charm is something many albums seem to lack in this period of political and social conflict.
These songs are metaphors for our own personal strengths and weaknesses – the characteristics that shape who we are both positively and negatively. Styles himself explains that the idea of the project was to let the songs explain that he is so many people rolled into one. Much like the rest of us, might I add, if only we had the courage to admit it. Something Styles bravely does throughout this album.
The most impressive thing about this masterpiece is it’s complete lack of filler. There are very few albums that I have listened to where I can honestly say that each piece is just as good as the whole. But this one’s different. Every song on here is absolutely incredible.
If I were to review each separate track, they would all get five stars, expect for “Thousand Grand Pianos”, “Rose Petals”, and “Sympathy Song” for which I might reserve six stars, and “Poppin Blisters” which directly earns 10 stars – I’m a sucker for melodramatic and emotional songs! To be honest though, every song is just sincere, unique, and recognizable.
But reviewing each song on “LEAD SINGER COMPLEX” would eliminate a key aspect of this project – this is a whole album. What I can say is that these jigsaws fit to make an interesting emotive and psychological picture. Each song flows into the other perfectly. To me, this recording strays away from the successful routines of its peers and manages to live its own way.
Due to this album by Kyley Styles, you will learn how to appreciate life as it perpetuates into ever-growing and diverse situations…good or bad, and how you are able to relate, react or even overcome it…especially if you are in music…and a band member!
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Author: Rick Jamm
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