From the Vault...


A.J. Croce

© Higher Octaves Records Rating:

track listing
  • Maybe
  • It's Only Me (Oh Ya-Ya)
  • Turn Out The Light
  • Summer Can't Come
    Too Soon
  • The Bargain
  • Find Out Now
  • Everyman
  • What I Wouldn't Do
  • Change
  • Five
  • She Was Always Right
  • Don't Leave Me Now

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    A.J. Croce related sites:
    A.J. Croce Website
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    A.J. Croce

    Adrian James Croce is the late Jim Croce's son. His music has been categorized as jazz/blues (from his first 3 releases). My first listen to A.J. Croce was discovering a few of his albums in a cut-out section at the local record store. Knowing he was the son of a singer whom I admired while growing up, I picked up his album That's Me In The Bar. There were other CDs of his in that cutout section, although I just bought one. I was disappointed that I hadn't picked up more of his releases (wanting to hear more), until many years later. "That's Me In The Bar" was very impressive -- His style of music was jazzy, bluesy, with a somewhat Tom Waits roughed-edged voice.

    He took a whole different approach on his 4th album, released in 2000, Transit. There is really no Jazz or Blues here. All the songs on this release all have one thing in common: They all ROCK. His voice is rough-edged, making the songs even more impressive. "Maybe" is probably more Pop than Rock, yet his voice distinguishes the remaining tracks. "It's Only Me (oh Ya-Ya)" has the vocal edged style of Bryan Adams, yet having a soulful flavor. The Bryan Adams roughness is heard throughout other songs, "Summer Can't Come Too Soon" and late Beatle-ish styled songs such as "The Bargain" and "Find Out How" are very impressive. "Turn Out The Light" and the mellow "Everyman" rocks with a Lenny Kravitz-ish tone.

    "What I Wouldn't Do," "Change," "Don't Leave Me Now" have Elvis Costello in mind, even vocally-styled in a way. "Five" is pure soulful and rocks in its own right. Croce's piano playing spotlights this song also. "She Was Always Right" is another good song, not as rocking as the others, but very enjoyable.

    It's really hard to choose which is the best song from this release. This is one of those albums that just catches your attention from start to finish. Comparing to the likes of Bryan Adams, The Beatles, Lenny Kravitz, Elvis Costello makes it also impressive. (This album was also compared to Bob Dylan and Van Morrison.) An impressive rough-edged singer, a fine piano player, A.J. Croce is a very talented performer, just as talented as his father was. (Jim Croce was a great folk singer/songwriter, who unfortunately died in a plane crash in 1973. It just so happens that this album chosen as our Album Pick of the Week on September 26 of this year, Jim Croce died on September 20, 1973, after completing a concert in Louisiana.)

    Transit moved Croce in a different direction, compared to his previous 3 releases. This album will deserve repeated listens, and wanting to listen to his previous and further releases. As of 2009, he has seven original albums and a Best Of. His most recent album was released this year, Cage Of Muses.

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    Kenny Rogers--The Gift
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