July 1, 2011

Tiny Danza - You Could Have it All (Album Review)

A couple weeks back, I received an email introducing me to a band hailing from Toronto, Ontario - Tiny Danza, a group of 5 musicians who combine live instrumentation with rapping and singing have set out to craft their own sound that fuses electronic and acoustics styles of music. Inspired by a host of current and past artists, Drake, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Arcade Fire... Tiny sonically doesn't fail me. On their debut album, You Could Have it All,  they open up with a subtle keys intro building into a nice drum & guitar tag team. While this joint doesn't set the tone for what's next to come it did keep me tuned in and void of pushing the skip button.

The album kicks into gear with their lead single "Beat Fly," a fast past tune that has lead vocalists, Galen Hogg and Andrew Craig leaving their relationships behind and reaching toward the sky with their music. Galen holds down the rapping, while Andrew delivers the soulful melodies to balance out. Now while Galen, in my opinion isn't the best emcee, he does work fairly well to fit the groups overall sound. I find him at his best on the uptempo party vibes of the project like "Beat Fly" and "The Grind," however, he does rock nicely over the mellow vibes of "Caught by the Game" and "The Illiad" which I'd have to say is my favorite cut off the album and somewhat unfortunately also where the album picks up again for me following "Beat Fly."

Now with every listen, I keep drawing comparisons between Andrew and Chicago based producer singer/songwriter, Ken Ross. Their voices are so very similar, yet Andrew gets my vote for the better singer. Excluding the instrumentation, Andrew is who keeps me in tune to this album. In "The Illiad" I came to appreciate his voice to another level as he pours out and croons about his beautiful girl. His pop-soul styled vocals allow one to just sink into the vibe giving it instant replay value. I can see him stepping away from the group, not completely, just to accomplish a solo album which would showcase his voice and writing skills even further.

Taking nothing away from the core of the group, musicians Matt Russo (guitar), Andrew Santaguida (keys) and Nick Shao (drums) create a varied but flowing soundscape for their leading men. The latin inspired guitar riffs in the beginning of "Shut Ya Mouth," the jazzy horns throughout the interlude, "N-2," and the funk inspired beginnings of "So Much Right Now" gives a glimpse into what the group could produce if they were commissioned to work with other artists/groups in those genres. As a whole, the three show how easy they form with over a decade of working together.  

So how do I feel about this project? Let me simply say, it's worth the support if not just for "The Illiad," "Caught by The Game" and "Beat Fly." Not to mention "Beat Fly" has a unique video and a Rock Band game for Xbox and PS3. I'd say that's a great way to get their music out there. Peep two below, then go check out the rest of the album for yourself.    

Tiny Danza - Beat Fly

Tiny Danza - The Grind
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