Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com
Howard Herrick is an eclectic and prolific songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for making music for TV, film, theater, and gaming. He has written and produced music for movies and theater productions including My One and Only, Vanishing on 7th Street, Very Good Girls, Nightlight, and Peter Pan 360. He wrote the music for Shaquille O’Neal’s video game Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn, and is currently creating music for the second season of the hit Lifetime beauty competition television series American Beauty Star. Somewhere in and amongst all that work, Herrick found the time to write and record a solo album, the self-titled Howard Herrick. It’s a highly-listenable effort from a versatile, mature artist with skills to burn and more than a little to say.
Herrick is a wide-ranging talent with ears big enough to draw influences from pop, rock, jazz, blues, orchestral, dance, electronic, and indie styles. He’s a tight and inventive songwriter with the discipline to make each line count and put every note in the right place. Howard Herrick opens with the moody pop brilliance of “Hold My Hand,” an emotional and cinematic track that deftly uses melody, atmosphere, and memorable vocal and instrumental hooks to pull listeners into its world.
One of the record’s best moments is “Show Me That One Again,” a tender song of love and concern for a sister rendered with only piano and voice. A song like this could easily turn to overly-sentimental lounge singer mush but Herrick stands tall in this vulnerable moment and delivers a track with genuine emotion that avoids lyrical cliches and hits its target dead on. The simple format reveals the great artistry in Herrick’s work and, if this one doesn’t move you, you should probably check your pulse.
“Go And Hear” is a crunchy mid-tempo rock track with ethereal vocals and great-sounding guitars. “Is Love Enough” nails a vintage 70s pop radio sound while still maintaining its originality and “Nothing Lasts Forever” is smart, lyrical pop done right and well. Other highlights include “Sad Plant” and “Behind Closed Doors.” Clearly, Howard Herrick is a pro at this songwriting stuff and his solo record is an engaging and enjoyable trip through his catalog. Here’s hoping there’s another one of these on the way.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: https://www.howardherrickmusic.com/
LISTEN ON SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4kFr2lfqMOXvmB9sy0Lp5d