On The Jersey Side: “Overload” by Chris Luciani

FrontCoverFinalNew Jersey is famous for many things. Such as its legendary shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean, or how in 1642, they opened the only brewery in America. It was the home of Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Dorothy Parker, presidents Grover Cleveland (admit it, you probably thought he hailed from Ohio, right?) and Woodrow Wilson. The place where the first organized baseball game was played and the first World Series was broadcast, the first beach boardwalk was built and saltwater taffy was pulled, the first movie was made and the first drive-in movie was opened.

Then there’s the music. Frank Sinatra, Paul Robinson, Bill Evans, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, The Shirelles, Paul Simon (a groovy little fact: he wasn’t even born anywhere within walking distance from New York City’s, and Simon and Garfunkel’s song, celebrated 59th Street Bridge), George Clinton, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, Bon Jovi, Skid Row, My Chemical Romance, The Smithereens, The Misfits, Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah, Redman, The Sugarhill Gang, Karen O, and even The Jonas Brothers all tuned up originally in The Garden State. And now, ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to NJ’s latest melody maker? It’s with pleasure I proudly present to you, Mr. Chris Luciani.

Singer/songwriter/keyboardist and New Jersey native Chris Luciani has now taken the sound stage and is vying for the spotlight with his debut EP titled Overload. Five songs with the potential to be rock classics are where he begins his journey on the road to rock stardom. It is a strong start indeed.

Leading off the compilation is the eponymous title track which is also the single that’s been released to radio from the EP. It’s a tightly tense tune that slowly builds as it progresses. Soulful lyrics, tasteful arrangement, performance and production, pitch perfect vocalization, and a killer hook. What’s not to like?

Taking the tempo down a notch or two he follows that with Empty Hearts. A ballsy ballad boasting some red hot licks provided by renowned guitarist Ira Siegel. This is a slow dancer that is made for making the first time move with that someone you’ve seen in the club and had your eye on all night long. It’s guaranteed to bring sexy back with a bang.

All My Life is a sweet love anthem with a more acoustic vibe in the instrumentation. Probably the shortest in length of the Overload EP song set but it’s long on that loving feeling. Distant Memories also features the magic of the aforementioned Ira Siegel’s six string guitar, in addition to a well structured middle-eight bridge before the close of the number.

Luciani wraps Overload up with a little mid tempo ditty paradoxically called Paradox. Here he wrestles with the dilemmas, decisions and conundrums that crop up in life and lands the fly in the proverbial ointment, so to speak. It’s a very good choice as a closer because by the time it ends it puts you in the mood to listen to the whole EP all over again.

Chris Luciani, a Jersey boy, shows a lot of promise on Overload. He holds his own behind the pen, the piano, the microphone and in the recording studio. Checking his web site (http://www.chrisluciani.com) I can’t find any shows scheduled yet, but hopefully when he does play live he can bring the same level of talent and passion to the stage. That is something that has been the downfall of many of today’s musicians, and with Chris Luciani, only time will tell.

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Author: Ralph White