By Lee Miller – Musician/Songwriter from Bristol, TN USA
From the moment I began listening to Orbis Max “A Pocket Full Of Tunes”, I was taken back to a time in my younger days when life was so simple and music started to mold the inner musician inside and pushed the realization that I had a dream to become someone akin to my heroes, the bands that would forever hold a part of my heart so dearly. Listening to Orbis Max takes me back to that time in my younger days. I can’t thank Craig Carlstrom enough for hooking me up with this album to review, along with Cliff for turning me onto this amazing album and the individuals who recorded it!
By the time the second song of “A Pocket Full Of Tunes” was finished, I was fully immersed in the awesomeness of what this band is all about. Straight ahead and powerfully driven songs that blend what I call Classic Rock, Pop, British infused Americana with 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s influences, along with so many other elements, wonderfully together. “We All Need Someone To Love” is an amazing song with the emphasis on AMAZING! I listen to this song and go “Wow! How the Hell were these guys not huge back in the day!” The sheer abundance and volume of musicianship and the crafting of each and every song on this album alone just completely blows me away! There’s so much talent here on every one of these songs! And the production and mix is top shelf all the way!
After doing some research on the band, I applaud them for not selling out all those years ago and going the way of playing conventional covers like most bands do, and for sticking to the music that they themselves have crafted over the course of some 40 years together. To know how they bring all of these parts together musically is just something you have to check out in the videos they have on YouTube as well as the interview that Craig did back in 2017. It all gives insight into the passion that goes into the making of their music.
Every song on “A Pocket Full Of Tunes” just has so much going on. From the awesome bass guitar playing, lead and rhythm guitar playing (some of the best slide playing I have ever heard on “Ride”), the incredible vocals, keyboards, drums, saxophone playing, and the backing harmony vocals (which on the album opener, “Standing Next To Me”, reminded me of a cross between Franki Valli And The Four Seasons and something quite Beatlesesque). What an absolutely stellar collection of songs! Each and every one of them a masterpiece all their own! So many talented and gifted artists perform on this album. Far too many to mention here, but you all know who you are and I just have to say “Bravo” to each and every one of you! You’re all at the top of your game!
Now, onto the songs themselves. The three aforementioned songs set the tone for this collection of musical gems. Track number four is “Stars In The Sky” and it’s an upbeat song with one of the coolest guitar solo sections ever! This song pulls you in and has you singing along by the second chorus. Definitely one of my favorites from the album along with “It’s You”. These guys write about love and you feel it in every note that’s played and every lyric that’s sung. And really, that’s what drives these amazing artists. The passion and love that they have for music. That’s definitely apparent as you listen to their songs.
Continuing on, track number ten is “Lonely” and it contains a line that sums up this album for me. “You Cast A Spell That I’m Still Under”. Orbis Max “A Pocket Full Of Tunes” has definitely cast a spell on me and took me back to a time where music was real, it was passionate, and it was felt so deeply. I definitely respect every aspect of the soulfulness and all of the work that went into this album!
The next to last song, “Stickin’ Around”, has the best solo trade off between the lead guitar and saxophone that I have ever heard on a song. Not to mention that the song itself is killer.
My favorite song on “A Pocket Full Of Tunes”, “We All Need Someone To Love”, also closes out the album in remix form with the rpm’s a little faster, and it’s truly a testament to the fact that this song, as well as others from the album, have hit written all over them!
Today has been an amazing day for me, and it’s all because I have had the pleasure of reviewing a true collection of masterpieces! Orbis Max “A Pocket Full Of Tunes” is at the top of the upper echelon of music….. past, present, and future!