Album Review: Chuck Wicks – Starting Now
Entirely forgettable. Those two words pretty much sum up the debut release, Starting Now, from Chuck Wicks. With the marketing push and the glitz of his first video, you know RCA has some cool cash riding on Wicks, but will it be enough to guarantee that the heavily pop/contemporary leaning album becomes a success?
The album kicks off with “All I Ever Wanted,” an uptempo cliche backed by music. “All I ever really wanted was you.” Really? After a brief pause, the song starts back up with a different title–”Good Time Comin’ On” sounds like an extension of the lead track. “I feel a good time comin’ on.” Seriously?
The lead single, “Stealing Cinderella,” is sitting at number thirteen on the charts, but it seems more and more like a gimmick meant to break a new artist, which worked due to it cornering the wedding market perfectly. The song isn’t bad and I actually gave it a positive review when it came out, but I ended the review pondering the status of Heartland and that question seems even more valid now than it did then.
The pared back production of “When You’re Single,” a couple songs later, creates the first interesting combination on the album, although the organ sounds out of place. While the arrangement is more pleasant than most of the previous tracks, there isn’t anything compelling about the lyric which is a self pity number about being single and longing for love. “Man of the House” closes the album with a new and different perspective of a ten year old boy becoming the man of the house while his father is off to war. The sentimentalism is almost overly gratuitous, but it may be the only other track on the album that has any success at radio.
Wicks’ sound comes across as a blend of Rascal Flatts and Ty Herndon, which isn’t entirely suprising considering Dann Huff co-produced the ablum (he’s produced albums for Rascal Flatts). Wicks is technically proficient, although nothing less should be expected from a major label, but unfortunately, whether you consider the vocal performance or songwriting, nothing stands out as especially compelling. It’s your average, generic fluff meant to capitalize on the successful pop formula of Rascal Flatts.
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