May 22, 2014 Nick Santino – Big Skies (Album review)
Nick Santino, former frontman for A Rocket To The Moon, is slated to release his first full length album May 27, 2014. Titled Big Skies, the album will be released via 8123 Records and features production of good friend and label mate Pat Kirch of The Maine. According to Santino, “The sound of this record has a rock-n-roll vibe with a summer time, windows down feel”. The album comes with much anticipation to core fans knowing the talents of Santino and curiosity of the many directions he could go with this debut solo release.
Kicking off with “Bad Taste”, the song will absolutely appeal to fans of Santino’s previous EP, as well as fans of A Rocket To The Moon’s final album Wild and Free (2013). Santino starts off the album on the track with a very smooth, easy voice, and continues on this way throughout the records entirety. “Can’t Say I Miss You” is the next track and picks up the energy considerably from the opener. Santino retains the calm soft rock-n-roll tone while interjecting more energy and a faster pace.
Midway through the album Santino noticeably slows things down, and this is when a second district pattern to the record emerges. Taking on more of an acoustic style, Santino’s calm rock-n-roll feel fades into an even more soft simple sound. Through this part of the album the songs showcase the relaxing vibe of Santino’s smooth singing. While these tracks may not be the type to cruise around with your windows down, they do emphasize the easy-going atmosphere often felt in the summer time. On “Jackson Browne”, Santino puts together the slowest song on the album which is complimented by delicate vocals and simple backing music. The song has a strong nostalgic vibe with lyrics reflecting on an old flame and the memories that go along with that time. This is consistent with the theme of summer time sounds where many often take the time to reflect on past events in their lives.
Picking up the pace, “It Is What It Is” regains a more upbeat and happy feel. The nostalgic emotions continue, but in a more broad life sense which is sure to resonate with fans and enable them to connect to the record. With “Mood Ring Eyes” Santino gives listeners the most energetic rock edged song off the album. His typically mellow and soothing sound elevates into a full-blown rock approach momentarily with stronger vocals, a very catchy chorus, and powerful beat.
Overall, Big Skies is a phenomenal summer album that is sure to catch the attention of former A Rocket To The Moon fans as well as those intrigued by Nick Santino as a solo artist. The album will also drawn attention from new fans because of its well written lyrics, catchy choruses, and overall upbeat vibe. The two distinct moods of Big Skies show a much more narrow focus than Santino’s previous releases. For this reason, the record may take a few listens before the listener can casting final judgment. It is definitely a piece of music which grows on you and before you know it, you will be driving around this summer with Big Skies on your radio. CrypticRock gives this album 4 out of 5 stars.