Up From The Murky Depths (Augenblick Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Rising from the musical climate of Boston, Ken Siegert displays his knack for quirky, fun pop fills on his debut CD, UP FROM THE MURKY DEPTHS (Augenblick Records). With fourteen tracks, and over fifty-one minutes of music, Ken displays a style that is clearly his own as he dives through soft, bouncy, mellow, and fun pop hooks that never repeat and always keep you on your feet.
As you listen, the one consistent thing you'll find throughout this disc is quirky pop music that is twisted and molded as Ken sees fit. Take "The Invisible Thread," for instance. A jaw harp plays nicely on the playground with the normal guitars and drums, with an added harmonica for extra enthusiasm. The song bounces along with a powerful drive -- very energetic -- through the constant tapping of the drums, while the guitars and vocals slide through smooth pop notes. The outcome is happy and fun, but far from "party" music. There is real feelings here, which helps validate the music and make it stand out above other "fun lovin'" pop bands out there that are strong on music and weak on lyrics.
Then there is the other side of Ken, the softer, relaxed musician who delivers pop hooks in the form of gentle sways and soothing keyboards. Such is the case with "Your Train Out." Although there is still a motor here that keeps the song charged, it's not as jumpy and punchy as the opener.
But, the diversity is good. If this were fourteen tracks like "The Invisible Thread," the disc might be fun for a while, but you'd grow tired pretty fast. By shaking things up, he keeps everything lively and interesting, leaving you with a question of "What's next?"
On the side of the CD you'll find a message from someone, most likely Ken: "Please put this record on, call up someone you don't know, and sing along." The disc is about that crazy, fun, and wild, without loosing substance. Ken doesn't take himself seriously, yet he isn't a joke, either. He knows the boundaries well, and plays inside them perfectly. If I weren't such a shy guy, I might just pick up the phone and call up someone to sing along with the disc. Heck, it really does bring out a lot of fun in anyone who is listening. I'll give it a B.