Play Parts I and V

CD Cover Green Romance Orchestra
Free Association / Emperor Norton

Review by Darren Kerr

45-second excerpt from "Look Away" (various formats)

First of all, if you are planning to pick up any Collective Soul, Counting Crows, or any albums from their awful M.O.R. ilk, forget it. This is the album you want.

Green Romance Orchestra was formed by drummer Dave Abbruzzese after he got turfed by that oh-so-emotional rock enterprise known as Pearl Jam, and this CD is formed by solid rock songs built on dynamics, thoughtful instrumental breaks and J. Paul Slavens' soulful voice. Whether he is talk singing à la Robbie Robertson or Tom Wilson or displaying a frail falsetto, he is nothing short of compelling. "Second Sight," "Waiting for Sid" and "Look Away" are elevated by peerless rhythmic interplay between Abbruzzese and crack stick player Gary Muller. The latter, with his pulsing, simmering groove, wouldn't be unwelcome on one of Peter Gabriel's albums.

Most of these songs were borne of jam sessions, and you can feel the "let's just relax and create" vibe all through the album. Green Romance Orchestra will be embraced by rock radio -- if the programmers can tear themselves away from their corporate blow jobs long enough to give this a whirl.

An excellent debut and a total surprise.

Artist Contact Info: Emperor Norton Records, 102 Robinson St., Los Angeles, CA, 90026 USA

First published in Drop-D Magazine on December 22, 1997

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