Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bo Bice has Truely Seen the Light

See the Light, it is the name of southern rocker Bo Bice's new highly anticipated CD, which was released in late October 2007. It is also, as I would imagine another way of saying to record executives that Bo Bice, who has already gotten his feet wet in the professional music business, "saw the light" and decided to "put his money where his mouth is", both literally and figuratively , and go independent (indie). As with many singers and musicians, there has been some realization in the music industry that a big balding pencil pushing guy behind a desk has long enough been pocketing big money on acts who make little to nothing on album sales. They must tour to earn a living. Because Bo has decide to go Indie there has been a u-turn musically in comparison with his Freshman album, ironically titled The Real Thing. Sure, The Real thing was "ok", but it wasn't the wholly unbridled Bo Bice that we all fell in love with. The raw, yet gentle spirited southern rocker that finished second on American Idol Season 4 to Carrie Underwood.
"On SEE THE LIGHT, the first release on Sugar Money/ StratArt Records label, he promises we are getting to hear "the genuine Bo.""I'm grateful for THE REAL THING; that was a fun album. But that wasn't MY album," Bo explains. "This time it was just total freedom. We had no inhibitions about what this was going to be; we just went in and did whatever we wanted to. The freedom shines through."
Bice paved the way for future rockers on American Idol, for example the very talented Chris Daughtry, who is currently touring the nation and touting his current album under the band Daughtry . Those who weren't fans of the show, American Idol, were introduced to Bice's soul bearing brand of southern rock through either the 2005 guest spot on Carlos Santana's, "Browned Skinned Girl on the album All That I Am or by way of Bice's chart-topping turn on the single "Inside Your Heaven," also from 2005 that received good radio airplay. Some naysayers may have been tempted to write him off as reality-show riffraff, the one that had their 15 seconds of fame and who have now moved on to more bankable jobs at the local McDonalds. Oh, but little did they realize that Bo Bice has an edge-that being TALENT. Real and undeniable God given talent. Bice has a sound that sadly, is no longer produced or duplicated in the music industry. For whatever reason is was left abandoned on the musical roadside. Fortunately Bice not only picked it up , He breathed new spirited life into that sound. As a bonus, he takes listeners on the ride with him.
A recipe for that good crunchy , earthy rock sound of yesterday...you know the one....Take some Blues, mix in a small dose of certified country living, blend ever so gently with some soulful "singing so God can hear you" gospel sound, blend together and pour over some good ole southern rock and there you have the deep and colorful spectrum that is the music of Bo Bice. I was so pleased to once again hear the Bo Bice sound that I fell in love with. It's organic and stripped down. Ahh, yes-it's all coming back to me. I remember. Actually I never forgot-but it is nice to be reminded.
I am hoping to catch him on tour. I can only imagine that the songs on this album are unbelievable live. Count me in! PS, Can I sing backup? Remember that fantasy I have mentioned time and time again , ex. my post "Circus visits the McWane Center". There's always the dream, but for now-I am cranking up my stereo and rocking!

Witness- Released as the first single from the album, Witness is heavily doused with some soul and blues. Witness is a great track. It has a definite Black Crowes, Lenny Kravitz sound that is raw and earthy. It is one that will certainly have you singing along, even long after the song has ended.
(On a personal note, may I just admit that when I hear this song, I fantacize about being a backup singer for Bo. You know the ladies who wear the black dresses and dance and belt out the background vocals. Put that on my bucket list...just saying....)
Take the country outta me-This is a song that I too can relate to, as much as it is autobiographical in some part as to Bo's influences in music. Musically it has some great riffs and exudes swamp water through the speakers. Laissez les bons temps rouler...is a Cajun expression meaning "Let the good times roll!" This song strongly conveys the "joie de vivre" ("joy of living") through music, Love it.
I'm gone-as with all great rock songs, this song, I'm gone builds on it's on emotion. Starting out with a heartfelt "Dear John", Bo leaves his his listeners with a rebellious and brave "goodbye"
Only words-a raw song full of emotion.
Got Money-There is just something about the voice of Bo Bice. You can hear with every note he sings that he sings straight from that much tended to and operated on gut. Got Money is a song that it is evident that Bo's guts can scream and shout. A medical miracle, certainly.
See the Light- The title track for the album, this song brings me back to the days of Brother Cane. See the Light is tinged with gospel influences and pipered in trust by breathless harmonic sound. Can I join the choir? Please...This tune had me searching for the choir sign up sheet.
Sinner in a Sin-evidently drawing inspiration from much of the music that is found in Nashville, Bice's home since shortly after leaving Idol, Sinner serves up a side of channeled countrified Shooter Jennings with this twangy entree. Seriously, you two should talk about doing something together....
This train-As I listen to the CD, I feel as though I am listening to what might be a sound track of influences that Bice has drawn from or been inspired by. Perhaps is it my own? I don't know that he likes or even listens to any of the aforementioned musical groups or singers, I just am giving my review of what I hear. Bo must like the Eagles. Fortunately, I do too. Good track.
Ain't gonna die- Had me up and dancing in my living room. Ain't gonna die from listening. This one is a sure bet to get those endorphins pumping.
whiskey, women and time -Singing what all great rockers know something about-whiskey, women and time takes the listener on a ride as Bice list off the things that detail what a touring rockers life is about.

This CD is the true Bo Bice of Southern Rock. If you loved him on Idol, you will require musical nourishment from this CD! If you haven't had the pleasurable experience, fasten your seatbelt as you are sure to venture to many roads less traveled on "See the Light". Remember-when you get off the highway, you are certain to go a beautiful "scenic" route, which is just what this CD offers. Enjoy.
Highly recommended for the music lovers on your Christmas list.
5/5 stars


loopy said...

What a great review! If you want to follow what Bo's up to or just chat, Check us out at www.bonafidebice.com. Thanks again for the great review

sher said...

This is the most positive article on Bo that I have ever read. Not only is it my own perception of Bo's talent and musical abilities but it's accurate. Thanks for a fair and honest critique.

Pat said...

Great review!
I've been folllowing Bo's career very closely for the last few years, and I'd suggest that you should visit and join Bo's fan site at www.bobice.com! Bo blogs on it and he often posts on the forum.
Also Bo's video for WITNESS has been # 1 on VH1 for two weeks already! :-)

To join in on that vote go here:

There is nothing like seeing Bo perform LIVE! I hope you get to see him in 2008!

HEWY said...

Great Review!

Leigh said...

I appreciate the review compliments. While I do enjoy Bo, I promise to give an unbiased and honest review of anyone I review(see Kenny Chesney's latest review, looove him, not so good review...).
I am glad that Bo beleived in himself and his work enough to take that big step (away from Clive Davis-that's big) and see that the product he put out there was indeed his dream, his heart and soul, his work and his talent. He knows himself better than anyone. If you cannot feel it in your heart and soul then it just shouldn't be out there. Good for Bo for doing that. IMHO, It really IS an awesome album. Great jo,Bo!

Bice Fan said...

There are some photos of the Helena Christmas Parade on www.BoBiceAlabama.com

Check it out!

If you took any photos you can list them on the site just post on the forum!

Leigh said...

Thanks Bice Fan! My pics are on my blog on the slideshow. (Helena Christmas Parade) you are welcome to put a link to mine.