“Zach Gill’s Stuff” Zach Gills album review

Zach Gill (2008) Brushfire Records

Zach Gill (2008) Brushfire Records

From the moment the opening piano notes of “Family” begin to play, the listener is taken away from their surroundings, and back to a simpler time, when legos ruled and bedtime was 9:00 pm.

Zach Gill’s Stuff, the debut solo project of Animal Liberation Orchestra’s lead vocalist Zach Gill, is sure to please any fans of upbeat melodies and smooth vocals. Songs that stand out in particular are “Family” for its upbeat, positive message, and “Back in the Day” for its nostalgic easy going lyrics accompanied by a very smooth banjo progression.

This album seems constructed for someone in a very relaxed mood, possibly heading to the beach, something the Santa Barbara, California native is most assuredly familiar with. The lyrics are positive and hopeful, bringing people back to their childhood, when complication was not even a word in their vocabulary. “Back in the Day” comforts the listener by saying, “You know the world keeps getting stranger/But I still feel the same/I love you now like I loved you then back in the day.”

The major issue with Zach Gill’s Stuff is its repetitive melodies, a major problem the entire Brushfire Records label is familiar with. Any fan of Jack Johnson’s On and On or Donavon Frankenreiter’s Move By Yourself are sure to be immediately impressed, yet for us fans of variety, it is easy to get tired of this album. There are only so many times one can hear the same melody slightly altered. My advice is to conserve how much you listen to Zach Gill, but listen closely to the words when you do. You will not be disappointed.

Fans of this album, be on the lookout for Animal Liberation Orchestra’s next album, in the recording phases now and due out March of 2010.

Check out Zach Gill at www.zachgill.com for more information and tour dates.