Thursday, July 29, 2004

Big Gavin DeGraw post

"Oh, this is the start of something good. Don't you agree?" - Follow Through


A couple weeks ago, or so, I bought the new musical artist Gavin DeGraw's debut album "Chariot." I had heard about him before and heard he was pretty good, so I decided to finally check him out in full. I liked him well enough during the first week I had the album, but some of the songs just weren't catching on. But now, after many listens, I've finally realized how good Gavin really is.

Gavin, for those who don't know, is a New York-born musician who plays piano and guitar (mostly piano, it seems) and has a very soulful, lovely singing voice that reminds of one singers such as Prince, Adam Levine from Maroon Five, and many other R&B voices. He's also a brilliant lyricist. He was signed to Clive Davis' J Records a year or two ago, and is being proclaimed "next big thing." I personally think he just might be a big star, both now and in the future. I just love his music now, and this post is written to tell you why.

Yesterday, I bought Gavin's re-released album "Chariot Stripped," which includes the original "Chariot" studio album and a live acoustic album called "Stripped." The acoustic album is just as good, and more, as the studio album!!

Gavin has an excellent, passionate, emotional, soulful, unique voice. He puts a lot of punch into whatever he's singing. He can sing tender and intimate, or howl like only the best male singers can.

His lyrics cut straight to your heart and mind. The majority of the time, you do not need to wonder what he's singing about. Somehow, you just KNOW, because his words are working their magic.

As for his piano playing: It's just awesome. He's been playing since he was 8, and it shows.

I've been reading interviews with him, and he seems like a laid-back, down-to-earth guy who is easy to like. He comes across as very thoughtful and intelligent, and truly appreciative of his fans. One common theme I've found is that his goal in music is to perform for his fans, give it all he's got, and give them something to love every time. He's a musician who knows where the true priority is: the audience and the musician's connection with them.

I have also noticed that his career thus far is taking a similar path to that of the late Jeff Buckley. Let's examine the evidence. Both musicians:

- Came up on the NYC music scene, in the background at first but eventually getting good word of mouth.

- Had lots of attention from major labels.

- Put out live EPs before their full length debut.

- Put out debut albums that were released to critical acclaim. Both "Chariot" and "Grace" really connect with listeners.

- Have/had extremely expressive voices with great range and emotion.

- Are/were adored by large numbers of female fans.

- Are/were known for doing interesting covers of their influences in concert. Both, in fact, have covered Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"!

So that's my essay on why I love Gavin's music. If I think of anything else to say about him, I'll put it here later. Go out and get Gavin's music, and see what you've been missing! And check out his website at

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