Here I Am
When you pop in Joe Chinnici's 'Here I Am' CD, you are right away clobbered over the head with the raunchy guitar of the title track. Then, as you take in the lyrics you realize: wow, somebody really pissed this guy off; a strong song to open an album. Then, just to totally twist your mood around, 'Don't Walk Away' takes you on a bouncy little ride. Shifting the mood again, 'I Don't Want To Be The One' is so sweet & touching; making the statement that all of us, regardless of our handicaps, really just want to be loved and treated with respect, not pitied. Meanwhile, where 'Forgiveness' is once again raunchy and 'I'll Be Here' is another bouncy ditty, they both tell tales of a more or less sleazy guy that is just after sex. In contrast, 'June' (a very nice ballad) and '3 Messages' (starts mellow, but rocks pretty hard) both convey the woes of a love-sick guy pining for 'her' to come back to him. With 'Soul', we perhaps get a truer picture of the real Joe due to the fact that music seems to be the lone consistency in the subject's life. And then there is the closer 'Use My Name', a very catchy tune that sticks with you. It also quite possibly illustrates that Mr. Chinnici either knows a LOT of females (or just a bunch of girls' names), and also makes plain that he's apparently a fan of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (as is the author of this review, or it would have been over looked - I get the joke, Joe!). An aspect that absolutely cannot be overlooked is the fact that Chinnici played all instruments on the disc; with the isolated exception of 'Soul', on which he & other fellow musicians played (collectively known as The Wankers...interesting). So, yeah, that means in addition to the typical guitar, bass & drums he also played violin, cello, French horn, trumpet, piano, and a pan flute; not to mention all the vocals involved. The cover art is also very interesting. As the insert is unfolded, an intricate photo of a Strat (maybe not of the Fender variety) is revealed, surrounded by countless other items that we can only assume mean something to the artist. You'll always find something new when you take a closer look. You've heard the term Renaissance Man? Well, ladies & gents, here is a Renaissance Musician.