Written by Dee Theart (@deetheart)
Album cover by Canton Parker
Justin Serrao has come a long way from the days being part of a band called 74%stupid (that was really the band’s name – no jokes!). His second full-length album, ‘Forget & Let Loose’, portrays the musical road he has walked and firmly re-establishes his insistence to not become forgotten or let loose in the music industry.
The album starts off with catchy pop rock flair with ‘No One Cares’, which is carried through relatively consistently during the rest of the album. In saying that, the album does not necessarily deliver anything new in terms of genre or musical approach. So if you are after heavy rock or bubblegum pop, this album is probably not for you. Then again, Serrao illustrates that too much of a good thing (typical pop rock), isn’t bad either. The songs are all very well composed, diverse in lyrical theme, and produced with a clean-cut commercial approach in mind.
My personal album favourites include ‘Hard Knocking Life’ (contains the album title words and is uplifting without being clichéd), ‘Tour Life’ (an up-beat song about the highs and lows of tour life) and ‘No Space’ (illustrates the anguish when a partner isn’t as committed to the relationship as the other person). Mention must also be made of older Serrao songs that are included on this album – definitely a clever approach to make fans from early days feel part of this project.
Whereas many of the album’s songs are written from a personal perspective, ‘Breakable’ digs deep in someone else’s psyche. Mixed with a sexy array of guitars, keys and vocal ranges, this song reaches a perfect balance. Anyone who has seen Serrao perform live can attest that his set would not be complete without ‘Greenside’ – belting sing-a-long lyrics that is best listened to at top volume. ‘Friends’ is probably the melancholiest, yet the most beautiful song on the album that will linger in your mind long after it has finished playing.
A puzzling aspect about this album is the tippy-toe inclusion of the country genre. It is clear that Justin enjoys country music (there is even a track called ‘Country’), but this element breaks the general feel of the album, leaving the listener confused as to where Serrao’s musical loyalty lies. Perhaps he will be venturing in this direction with full force in the future.
There’s no doubt that Serrao’s vocal capability and guitar playing skills are two of his best assets with which he rightly boasts on ‘Forget & Let Loose’. There is a fire in his voice that urges the listener to keep on listening until the very last note. The passion in his music is what will keep Justin Serrao in the minds and hearts of many music lovers for a long time to come.
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