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City Boy - Dinner At The Ritz CD (album) cover


City Boy


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3.99 | 51 ratings

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3 stars So another album requested for review. This is for the album Dinner At The Ritz by City Boy, a progressive pop rock band. They are a rather more obscure band, but they are fairly known in the Prog sphere as a band similar to those like ELO and Supertramp. They have a bit of a cult following from what I've seen, so with that, I figured to check them out and see what they were all about.

The first song that starts this album is Momma's Boy. This is a really neat song, lots of ebb and flow from a more standard pop rock sound to a more hard rock sound, it even goes to a nice little guitar solo. You can definitely hear the influence these guys got from the pop music of the 70s, but this also leads into a specific issue I have with this album and that is you can tell they wear their inspiration on their sleeves. Normally I don't mind it, but as a big ELO fan, when I first heard this song it made me feel like I am just hearing a B-side on albums like Famous Last Words and or Face The Music. While I do like this song, it doesn't leave me impressed since I have heard way better interpretations of this exact sound.

The next song is Walk on the Water. Similar in vain to the last track, different sound though, less artsy and more straight forward, yet has the same problems as the former.

After that, we got Narcissus. This song is actually really different from the former 2 songs, being a lot more eclectic and progressive. This feels like they are trying a cooler more hard rock approach to their music and straying away from the ELO based Prog pop they have done. It's honestly super cool, and pretty refreshing to hear a more original sound not based on influence. This is what I want more on this album, which makes this my favorite song of the album by far.

Next song is the title track, Dinner at the Ritz. This feels like a combination of all the last three tracks. You can tell and see the influence on their sleeves, but also you can feel they are using said influences more original here and you can feel them really setting a mold down here. Really nice, and really artistically interesting.

The next song is Goodbye Blue Monday. This is very much like the first two tracks where the inspiratitors are basically shown in front of you with the sound. Honestly when I first saw the name, I kinda instantly thought of Mr. Blue Sky, which can tell you a bit about what I feel about this album. I cannot say it's bad, but I cannot say it's exactly original. What I want more is Narcissus and Dinner at the Ritz, not Goodbye Blue Monday and Walk On The Water.

The next song after that is The Violin. This is a more acoustic track that utilizes a violin in the track. It has a bit more of a soft rock sort of sound. It's actually pretty darn good, it feels as original as the title track and Narcissus while also not being some sort of rehash of those two songs. It is also pretty calming too, giving you a breather from the more eccentric pop songs of the former, giving you a nice little calm song to just relax too. It's very nice and I like it a whole lot.

And finally the last song, State Secrets - A Thriller. Sad to say this is again a rehash of the similar sound found on Goodbye Blue Monday and the first two songs. It's kinda weird, this album doesn't really have many problems, production is good, vocals and instrumentation are great, it's just a bit bogged down from the influences that I feel cannot live up to their inspirators, and with them doing it so often, it's kinda hard to feel a sense to comeback to this album when so much better exists, that's what I think at least.

So overall I am mixed on this album. It has a lot of great songs, but most of those songs are basically copying the homework written down from much more popular and recognizable bands to where I cannot really say I want to or feel obligated to go back to this album again. It's not that it's bad, it just feels super unoriginal.

Dapper~Blueberries | 3/5 |


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