Strange Celebrity – Remedy
by Keavin Wiggins
Celebrity – Remedy
Modern rock is alive and well and has a
new champion in the form of Strange Celebrity. Though they have gone
relatively unnoticed up to this point, despite having a major label debut,
they do have almost all the elements in place to explode into the mainstream
and make some major waves.
Strange Celebrity tap into the same formula
that brought Tonic so much success; edgy but smooth guitars mixed with
melodic vocals, loaded with plenty of hooks. They aren’t quite as
“grungy” as say Nickelback, but should appeal to the same fans. On the
other hand, take away the guitar driven tracks and you have the makings
of a pop group.
Although they are a “Christian” band, they
don’t go overboard and beat you too hard over the head with their “message”.
You really have to look for it in most cases. In that respect, and also
to lesser extent musically they are similar to Switchfoot, especially on
the slower songs.
The album alternates between the guitar
driven numbers and ballads. They really shine on the ladder. So if either
is your cup of tea then this would be an appealing listen.
Strange Celebrity does excel at what they
do and they seem comfortable in their chosen genre. But for fans of harder
edged rock, this will be a bit too “sugary” and won’t likely change your
All in all, this album is a solid debut
for Strange Celebrity and if given the proper promotion it could easily
find a wide mainstream audience, which is exactly what they seem to be
Every so often a band
comes along that combines engaging songwriting, brilliant production and
an unparalleled live show. Strange Celebrity is just such a band. They
are positioned to rise from the ashes of yesterday's cookie-cutter pop
acts and deliver the artist driven live music that the world desires.
is the brainchild of singer/songwriter/guitarist Luke Brown, who began
his music career as a member of two different bands while growing up in
Chattanooga. While he learned the basic elements of his art and performance
from these groups, he was left unfulfilled by the songwriting and musical
direction. He began to write songs and flesh out the artistic voice by
which he was inspired. By 2001 Brown was based in Nashville and began the
songs that have become the roots of Strange Celebrity. One problem remained
- while Brown's vision of the band became clearer, he lacked the outstanding
bandmembers he needed to see Strange Celebrity come to life.
Through a mutual
friend, New Jersey native Rick Wilson heard a copy of Brown's early songs
and called Brown the next day. He flew to Nashville and the two jammed
together, beginning what would become Strange Celebrity. Soon after,
Wilson moved to town and he and Brown began the search for the rest of
Tracy Ferrie and
Quinton Gibson had been long time friends and high-school bandmates in
Indiana. While both had moved to Nashville, they pursued live and studio
opportunities with different bands and artists. When Brown called Ferrie
to play with him and Wilson, Ferrie added a whole new dimension to their
sound. As Ferrie caught the vision for the band he brought in Gibson and
soon the four were playing together. Luke, Quinton, Tracy and Rick forged
a definitive sound greater than the parts each brought. Strange Celebrity
had been born.
As Brown continued
to refine his songwriting, he partnered with Nick Trevisick and Danny Wilde
- two writer/producers with a history of great songs. They quickly penned
their first batch of songs and with this dynamic production duo the band
was finally able to put to tape the high energy hit-song rock they envisioned.
initial song demo caught the attention of Warner Brothers Records and lead
quickly to the record deal they all desired.
Just when the band
thought that the creative mix could not get any better, they began the
recording process under the guidance of Warner Brothers AR rep and famed
musician Chris Rodriguez. His depth of experience and keen insight into
the song selection brought the album to an even higher level. Surrounded
by so many talented people the band was able to create a vivid and timeless
Brown continued to
stretch his abilities and co-produced the first two songs on the album
with writing/production partner Chuck Butler. The songs and music intensified
the enthusiasm of everyone at the label as Brown captured his musical and
lyrical vision in the recordings of "Free" and "If I".
Lyrically their freshman
release is far from typical. Brown's open touch with words gives
the songs a sense of character and depth that also contain an unmistakable
spiritual edge. Though certainly not shy about his emotional and
spiritual passions, he manages to turn impressive phrases that match the
hooky music to create an intriguing sound. This unique approach can
only draw the listener deeper into areas of self-discovery and spiritual
seeking, and allow the lyrical explorations to contemplate how responsibilities,
choices and actions impact people.
With the album completed,
Brown has had time to reflect on the songs he recorded. "This record deals
a lot with life's rollercoaster of emotions," says Brown. "It is very relationship
based, and is about trying to find out for yourself who you're supposed
to be. Along with that, we also want to plant positive seeds of hope.
There is so much negativity out there and so much music that seems hopeless
- we want people to know that there is hope. We keep the music hopeful,
and perhaps it will take the place of other music out there that seems
hopeless. We hope that people will see something different in what
we are doing."
"We're really anxious
to get the music out there," Brown shares. "At every show we want
people to have a good time - concerts are for the people. We
always give our all for them." Gibson adds, "I love the reaction
we get when we play live - to know that some kind of fire has been lit
and that it will stick. That's why we're doing this, after all."
As the band prepares
for their summer release of their debut album, they turn exclusively to
their live shows. Considering their influences, Brown feels that "bands
like U2, Aerosmith, and the Stones really inspired us to get into our music."
Ferrie adds "You have to respect and want to learn from bands that've stayed
together for so long, and are still doing what they do with so much musical
integrity." With these influences close to their hearts, Luke, Quinton,
Tracy and Rick strive every day to become a better band and write better
Whether you experience
Strange Celebrity for the first time in their high energy rock show, or
are rocked by the songs "Free", "If I" or "Back To Life", or are
drawn into "Someday", a song of hope, you will know that you have discovered
a rare band. And through it all, Strange Celebrity remains focused on their
"My ultimate goal
in writing songs is simply to connect with people," Brown says, "and I
hope that comes across in everything we do."
the Official Website to learn more about Strange Celebrity
to sound samples and Purchase this album online
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