Justin Levinson – Yes Man
Surf Rock | Progressive Pop
Say what you will about Justin, but there’s no denying that he sticks to his guns and wears his heart on his sleeve. Before even reaching the chorus of the opening track ‘Together Forever’, the Beach Boys and Beatles influences are plain to see in it’s carefree melody and bright, cheerful harmonies. The album may stray at times closer to the likes of Queen and ELO, but this is very much a 60s inspired record. Though the subject matter can get a bit dark at times, musically tracks like ‘Homewrecking Machine’ and ‘Megaphone’ create a vibrant and joyous world from years gone by to get lost in. Yes Man may be a one trick pony but that’s not really a problem when you pull off said trick this well!
While the upbeat tracks sound as though they could summon the sunshine on a dull day, the album’s slower moments sadly tend to drag. Songs like ‘The Moment I Laid Eyes On You’ leave little impression besides bringing down the mood. The record can also be rather derivative at times. Granted in a way that’s kind of the point of this homage to 60s pop, but it could do with some innovation or a more personal stamp to help better define where the influences end and Justin begins. It’s not perfect, but if you are a fan of that sweet sixties style then there is no better modern example around than this. It is a greatly talented singer/songwriter’s loving testament to one of the finest ever periods of music.