coverWith a sound I can only describe as protest progressive folk, Midwest Soul Xchange have created something very different. The album “New American Century” is eleven tracks with one song never sounding just like the other. Two independent musicians have come together to make an album all their own.

The musicianship is good. Each of them is proficient. They are so proficient that it easy to forget that these two men played it all themselves. It’s a mostly acoustic feel. The ones I favored more featured an acoustic sound with electric. The melodies are well done. Some tracks begin to take me somewhere with their progressive power. There is a definite southwest feel to some of the tracks. You can hear a blues twang on a few. When the elements blend they blend well.

The track “Truth Attention” caught my attention right away. The layers are compelling. The sound does well because its parts are familiar. What these men do well is mix their songs to their vision. “Sun Dried” may be my personal favorite. There are elements of country with a Middle Eastern feel that bends into a blues trip; slow and dark with power.

The vocals do the job and at times I’m reminded of Michael Stipe if he had joined Crosby, Stills and Nash. Its not so much the delivery that is the trouble. The lyrics are sometimes too much. Perhaps they are trying to really say something and in doing so say too much. When that happens I get lost.

Nate and Ryan can play. I just don’t know if there is a place for their sound. I think they have something to say. I don’t think their message is as clear as it could be. It is an easy listen. But it is hard to swallow.



You can follow Midwest Soul Xchange on Facebook.

Extended Plays is an ongoing music series written by myself and my partner Lizzy. We listen to music, go with our gut and spill our honest and sometimes brutal opinion all over this blog. We hope you take the time to check out the artists we review for yourselves. We tend to believe that we are always right about everything but the most beautiful thing about music is that our opinion doesn’t matter to anyone but ourselves.



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