Saturday, January 23, 2010



Reviewed by D. Wells

“Hurricane Anthony” Salvatore, former frontman and co-composer of the Greater Toronto Area's powerhouse blues outfit, Coldsweat, is now channeling his formerly boisterous energy into a gentler, pleasant summer breeze, although not completely. His dynamic vocals remain a stellar attraction, but they are now wisely (or perhaps naturally) restrained to allow the listener to concentrate on his poetic lyrics and rhythmic guitar-playing. He has apparently lost the need to over-exert himself in order to be heard, and this gives him a somewhat different, more dynamic, musical persona who is more comfortable in his own skin.

Despite expressing light-hearted satisfaction with his own personal circle (“Perfect Day”, “You’re the One”, “Julia”, or the short but sweet instrumental entitled “Son”), Salvatore takes a serious look at the state of the world in general and finds it lacking in humanity, particularly with the opening track, “Blood”. The themes of the recording project can be pretty much summarized as “Music, Love and God”, which is, in fact, one of the song names, and it contains a reference to the CD title. Its hypnotic rhythm and chameleonic vocals make it one of the more interesting and memorable tracks here.

When I glanced at the complete set of lyrics in the liner sleeve (before listening to the music), I marveled at how he would deliver such verbosity without compromising rhythmic flow or melody. Not only does Anthony consistently succeed in this regard, he displays a level of sophistication usually associated with more experienced songwriters such as his heroes, Lennon and McCartney, whose names figure prominently on the cheeky “Big Star”, along with Elvis, Pink Floyd, The Stones, and Brittney [sic].

All of the songs distinguish themselves uniquely, although most could be loosely defined as “soft rock”, along with uptempo country/blues shuffles (“Jolene”, “Julia” and “Big Star”). If so desired, they could all be easily transformed into harder-edged renditions, particularly “What Are You Good For?” and “Shine”, which are already halfway there and give you a good idea of Anthony’s vocal delivery while fronting Coldsweat.

My personal favourite is “The Valley of the Kings”, both for the fantastical imagery contained in the lyrics and the alternating switches from dreamy to forceful instrumental and vocal delivery. Speaking of instrumentation, Mr. Salvatore is suavely accompanied by the last Coldsweat bass guitarist, Greg Plant, and variously joined by guitarists Richard Matos, Kevin Robinson and Trevor Huggett throughout the CD. John Collins alternates with former Coldsweat drummer Rob Randazzo.

“Yes We Can”, a plea for peace vs. war and funding for child literacy vs. ammunition, is the strangest composition, musically and vocally, but ultimately it grabs your attention. “You’re the One” could have come out of the pages of John Lennon’s songbook, so what’s not to like about that? For that matter, I can’t find much of anything to complain about here. Even the sequencing of the songs, with the delightful ode to his baby, “Julia”, closing off the CD, sits well with me. I congratulate him wholeheartedly on this debut solo and look forward to his future musical projects. It really is his time to “shine”.

Contact email for Anthony Salvatore:

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