Freight Train Boogie — Still Night

by August 2004


Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of five stars) After listening to this CD several times, I just have to say: "Zach, whatever you do, don't jump! Come down off that ledge, let's have a beer and talk. Life may be desperate at times, but it's never serious". On this, his second self-released CD, Zach Phillips displays a good command of the subtleties of the songwriting craft; intelligent and thoughtful lyrics are woven around original melodies, and each song is a complimentary package of that delicate balance between vocals and instruments that is the hallmark of the gifted singer/songwriter. My only complaint with Still Night is that the focus herein is too narrow. This album is just too somber and angst-ridden for extended listening. It tends to concentrate excessively upon relationships gone bad, and introspective reflection, which is fine, if that's what your Muse dictates, but, out of twelve tracks, there is only one, "Brightest Star", that exudes positive vibes? While some artists can build an entire career around minor keys and melancholia, (quick now, name a totally upbeat Neil Young tune), that niche isn't for everyone. I'm hoping that, with this release, Phillips' inner demon has been sated, and, next time around, he can devote some of his considerable talent to less pensive material. Songs such as "I Wanna Know Why", and "I've Lost My Heart", prove that he's got the tunes, all he needs is the feeling.

Zach's web site has lyrics and his own notes on each song. Available at CD Baby ( Released February, 2004, reviewed by Don Grant.