Simeon Flick | Reactive Soul

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Reactive Soul

by Simeon Flick

Reactive Soul is a baker's dozen combining the punch of alternative, the lyrical urgency of folk, and the rhythmic imperative of classic rock and R & B.
Genre: Rock: Grunge
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Caveat
4:14 $0.99
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2. Money Don't Make The Man
5:42 $0.99
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3. Many Moons
3:59 $0.99
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4. The Acrobat
1:44 $0.99
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5. Your Love Is Wrong
7:07 $0.99
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6. Grave Boy
3:00 $0.99
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7. Coffee's For Closers
5:16 $0.99
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8. Carve
6:02 $0.99
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9. American Boy
3:54 $0.99
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10. Girl Without A Face
4:10 $0.99
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11. Black Mare
7:16 $0.99
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12. Choice
3:20 $0.99
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13. Too Proud To Love
3:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"San Diego's Simeon Flick has a new CD out, his third, that is all over the map stylistically. In fact, his MySpace page describes his music as 'Alternative / R&B / Folk Rock,' which is probably as good a definition as exists...While a bit distracting, the thing is that every song is incredibly well-constructed; every arrangement works. And Flick is such a strong, expressive singer that the gear changes don't faze him a bit. That confidence and ability to switch from style to style and back again end up being one of [Reactive Soul]'s strengths--the stylistic changes not only hold your attention musically, but they cause you to pay closer attention to each song to see how Flick will approach each new style." -Jim Trageser, North County Times, 9/28/06

* * *

Simeon Flick is a heritage artist on the rise, performing accessibly innovative folk-jazz, alternative R&B, alt-country and pop-rock music. He is slowly bulding a formidable reputation and a connoiseur following with his adroit musicality, soulful voice, engaging live performances, and memorable songs with poignant, erudite lyrics.

Flick grew up listening to 60's R&B, 70's funk, 80's & 90's rap and hip-hop, classic rock of all decades, and 80's & 90's punk and alternative. He was in two vanguard underground bands in the nineties (CRUX and Sages of Memphis, the latter of which was briefly scouted by Interscope Records and had two songs placed on MTVs Road Rules), but had already begun to explore new frontiers with his solo material before arriving in San Diego in 2001. Since then he has released three pioneering solo CDs (Soliloquy, 2003, Indigo Child, 2004, and Reactive Soul, 2006), fronted the band Alpha Ray (whose song Tremore was featured on San Diego radio station 91X's Loudspeaker local music show), has performed all over San Diego and has toured both coasts, garnering new devotees along the way.

Simeon has had the privilege of sharing the stage with the likes of No Doubt, Sublime, Fishbone, The Untouchables, School of Fish, Rocket From The Crypt, Three Mile Pilot, Heavy Vegetable, The Samples, The Skeletones, Skankin' Pickle, Excel, Voodoo Glowskulls, Ozomatli, Geggy Tah, Matt Nathanson and Leftover Salmon. As a San Diego-based solo artist he has co-billed with Jimmy Gnecco of OURS, Veruca Salt, Saucy Monky, Transfer, Peter Sprague, Tom Brosseau, Gregory Page, Steve Poltz, Earl Thomas, Carlos Olmeda, Lisa Sanders, Berkeley/Hart, Anya Marina, Steph Johnson, Christopher Dale, Pete Thurston, The Biddy Bums, Danielle LoPresti, Alicia Champion, Michael Tiernan, and Thomas Lee (late of Bo Bice). Simeon has done professional studio session work for and/or live gigging with Matt Nathanson (guitar), Eddie Elliott (vocals, guitar, percussion), Strate Sound (drums & percussion), The Enchanted (vocals, guitar, bass, drums, percussion), Singing Serpent Studios (vocals, guitar), Matthew Stewart (vocals, guitar, bass, drums, percussion), Sterling Waters (percussion), Lee Tyler Post (vocals, guitar, bass, percussion), The Grams (bass, percussion), Tim Corley (bass), Tapwater (percussion), and most recently Rob Crow (bass) of Pinback.

Simeon released his third album at San Diego’s renowned Belly Up Tavern on 10/04/06. Reactive Soul bristles with intent, combining the punch of alternative, the lyrical urgency of folk, and the rhythmic imperative of classic rock and R & B. Simeon opened for Jimmy Gnecco of OURS at the San Diego House of Blues on 12/10/06, and has since been featured on San Diego radio stations 102.1 KPRI FM and Free 103.7 FM, and on KUSI TV. Most recently, Reactive Soul was nominated for Best Local Recording in the San Diego Music Awards (to be held on 9/17/07).

His goals are modest: To make a sustainable living through music, ease the human condition, and to be the soloist in the choir.

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Reviews


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San Diego Trouadour

Another Mind Boggling Work From Mr. Flick
The accomplished, schooled musicians of the world cast condescending looks at what they see as the simplistic, musical under-achievers in the pop world while the pop artists look back and wonder what’s the point of playing so well if you can’t connect with the public. The musical innovators disdain the cowardice they see when artists trudge over familiar ground. The rock and rollers think all of the previously mentioned groups need to just chill the hell out and make some noise. The minimalist folkies see great danger in musical excess of any kind hindering the impact of the lyrics. It’s hard to find the middle ground in all of that, but every once in a great while, an artist comes along that bridges the gaps between all of these approaches. Sting, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan and Bruce Hornsby come to mind when I think of musical forces of nature that can somehow merge radically different musical sensibilities and create a cohesive, exciting and satisfying result. If this kind of meeting of the musical elements sounds good to you, I give you Simeon Flick and his latest CD, “Reactive Soul”.
If you want immediate proof of Mr. Flick’s multi pronged musical attack, check out “Many Moons” and listen to how catchy and easy to sing along with the first verse is. Keep listening when verse two starts and notice how he turns the rhythm around and phrases the words almost like a jazz musician would, then ditches the more traditional harmony part for one that you really wouldn’t want to try to sing unless you want to hurt yourself. Listen again and you’ll be struck by how the bass and guitar lines, plus the chord changes alternate between recognizable pop/rock ideas and more obtuse musical colors. While you’re at it, grab the lyrics sheet and check out the words. Like all the other tunes on “Reactive Soul”, “Many Moons” sports lyrics that stand alone as fascinating, intellectually stimulating, challenging and entertaining works. “Black Mare” is another tune that manages to synthesize an astounding range of divergent approaches with lyrics that would make Dylan proud and a musical backdrop that is equal parts alternative rock, jazz, folk, alt. country and even punk. Damn! “Black Mare”, if there is any justice in the world, should find a place in the College Radio Hall of Fame (is there such a place?). “Caveat” and “Carve” also stand out as quintessential examples of Flick’s wonderfully twisted musical side. “Your Love is Wrong” and “Money Don’t Make the Man” are a bit more accessible and straight ahead with funky hooks galore in a stew of rocked out blue-eyed soul, but you will still hear plenty of unique touches. For instance, on “Money Don’t Make the Man”, the bridge offers a stark contrast to the rest of the tune in the form of an odd-time, almost cacophonic eruption, but then the sonic comfort food is restored at just the right time. “Your Love is Wrong” could have almost been done by Earth Wind and Fire if not for some of the compositional turns (like the funky pre-chorus chord changes).
As if there wasn’t enough to write about already with just the electrified tunes, Mr. Flick breaks out a nylon string guitar on “The Acrobat” and “Grave Boy” and spins a whole new angle. “The Acrobat” is nothing less than a masterful modern classical composition, played with passion and precision. This isn’t a rock guy doing some kind of convincing imitation of a classical player, this is the real deal and it’s beautiful, stunning stuff. For you musicians out there, listen to how Flick uses the tail end of a fast, single note flurry around the middle of “The Acrobat” to facilitate a sly key and tempo change. “Grave Boy” reminds me a bit of Jose Feliciano’s more hip offerings with pulled strings creating a grooving, pulsating rhythm, while Flick’s falsetto completes the hypnotic sound perfectly.
Simeon Flick played all of the instrumental parts and sang almost all the vocal parts (with a guest vocal by Cathryn Beeks on “Choice” being the only exception). While I am normally not a big fan of the “one person plays all” approach, it really works on this disc by creating a cohesion and consistency that is quite amazing. The electric guitar parts are equal parts raw energy, passion, creativity and skillful execution. The solos on “Caveat”, “Money Don’t Make the Man” and “Your Love is Wrong” (loved the tremolo soaked tone) are masterful and really support the tunes while the rhythm guitar playing throughout the entire recording provides the primary engine that drives the music so powerfully. Check “Money Don’t Make the Man” for an example of how the sizzling rhythm guitar parts give the music that perfect dose of juice. The bass and drum parts are dead on in the pocket and provide a perfect backdrop for the rhythm guitar.
If you showed the vocal parts on “Reactive Soul” to any schooled producer/arranger, in written form, you would certainly be told that they are “too ambitious” and “ill-advised”. The fact that Flick wrote these ridiculously difficult lead and harmony vocals for himself point to a masochistic streak in the artist. The vocals are all over the map in terms of range, style, emotional delivery and harmonic structure. Flick handles it all with ease, confidence and passion, making it all sound utterly organic. The recording of the vocals is just right in the way they are out front and not too heavy on the effects. Listen on “Black Mare” how Flick incorporates everything from whispers to screams, highs to lows and everything in between. Crazy good singing here to be sure.
“Reactive Soul” stands in sublimely stark contrast to the re-hashed, stale musical offerings that clog the airwaves these days. That is not to say that this music is too high-minded for the masses. On the contrary, this is that very special brand of music that manages to pull of the highest level of creative integrity while still being a complete blast to listen to. This is rarified stuff and not to be missed.
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