In the interest of saving you some time: there’s a good reason they were giving it away on the street — it was awful. Read on if you absolutely must know more…
As I left the Crowded House show a little while back, there was someone outside The Orpheum handing out CDs. The disc was by a guy named Rich Shapero, whom I had never heard of before.
Once home I did the usual cataloging and importing so I could listen to it on the drive to work. Now I wish I hadn’t bothered because it’s 35 minutes of my life (5 for the import, 30 for the listen) that I will never get back. Normally I wouldn’t count the listen due to the multitasking factor, but it was so bad I wanted to run my car off the road just to make his music stop.
Putting aside the histrionics for a moment, the disc wasn’t absolutely and completely without merit. The third track, “Where Am I Bound?” was pretty good, but it had the misfortune of being surrounded by the rest of the album.
You may be wondering what made it so horrible, and while I assure you your time has been wasted with that thought, I’ll try to explain.
The music, possibly intended as some hybrid of Barouque, folk, and rock/pop, came across more as disjointed noise separated by the brief respite of 2 seconds of quiet between tracks. The lyrics were insupid like bad high-school poetry. The mix-down lacked dynamic. It was just bad, bad, bad.
If you have taken the time to read this far, I’m sorry. If you ever run into Shapero, tell him he owes you the 5 minutes it took to read this review. While he’s at it he can cough up the 35 minutes.
At least it’s clear why they were giving it away out on the street.