GERALD GOODE “For Those Who Have”: CD Review
With a background of house, acoustic rock, and even punk, Gerald Goode delivers an impressive solo debut with his CD “For Those Who Have”. The 32-year old singer and former DJ excels at creating the perfect synergy of mid-tempo electronica and pop with standout tracks like “Better than Myself” and “The Letter”. Think of it as the coolest club-flavored lounge music you’re likely to hear. Goode’s multi-dimensional sound can perhaps best be described as “urban exotic”: it’s street smart yet uniquely experimental too. The music is expertly arranged, and Goode is definitely not afraid to dabble in lots of high-tech aural indulgences. But there’s more than that. You’ll soon discover that this guy can really sing– particularly with songs like the quietly beautiful “True” and “You and Your Device”. Goode’s voice is soulful yet strong and edgy, with a streak of vulnerability running through. Yet his vocals and his music never compete with each other; there’s seemingly perfect chemistry. “Better than Myself”, the album’s opener, is a great example of Goode’s voice and the music coming together so well. The song features a smooth yet stimulating and invigorating rhythm. “Better than Myself” is a mini-masterpiece; Goode reinvents the love song for 2009 and beyond. “The Letter”, the next track, also features an amazing rhythm. Next up is “Beautiful”, but don’t expect a remake of the song of the same name by Ms. Aguilera or “You’re Beautiful” by Mr. Blunt; Goode’s song is cooler and edgier than either of those two overplayed hits.
Not all the songs on “For Those Who Have” are in designed for chilling out with a cosmo in hand, however. “My Life” and “Mad” (in which Goode’s voice evokes a young, unblemished Jon Bon Jovi) are more rock-flavored. “My Life” is in the tradition of the timeless power ballad, complete with rock guitar interludes and a general vibe of youthful abandon. Goode’s voice is pushed up to the forefront. “True” keeps the arrangement sparse, with minimal instrumentation, to again showcase his voice. In both these tracks, Goode never sounds more soulful or produces more of an impressive range. “When I Was Younger” is another standout; it features some genuinely thoughtful, provocative lyrics, and becomes more anthemic and bold as it progresses.
“For Those Who Have” is largely a one-man show. Goode wrote or co-wrote all the songs on “For Those Who Have”, and also plays keyboard throughout. The result is an expertly produced, truly self-styled hybrid of soul, pop, rock, and electronica. His lyrics and voice cover the whole range of human emotions: the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the not-so-beautiful…but even when Goode sings about such themes as heartbreak, he makes it sound lush.