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Roz Bell – The First Sunbeams Sampler

You know what’s awesome? Free CDs. And you know what else is awesome? Learning something new. And girl, you know it’s true… oh my.

Anyway, when I bought the Guided By Voices Live In Austin, TX DVD at HMV in Toronto, the stealthy clerk (most likely a ninja) slipped this free CD into the bottom of the bag without my noticing it. Of course, I was probably all up in my head, imagining the GBV DVD awesomeness I was about to see, so I didn’t find the CD until I got home. Surprise! Free CD!

So who is Roz Bell? Good question, and now you’ll learn something new too. He’s a Canadian singer-songwriter who grew up just north of Toronto. He likes country, rap and rock. Isn’t Wikipedia amazing? Anyway, they left out that his favourite colour is green and that he prefers puppies to kittens. Or, it could be that I’m just making that last bit up. Isn’t sarcasm wonderful?

The free CD that the HMV ninja gave me was this 4-song sampler from Roz Bell’s new album, The First Sunbeams, which is due out this summer. And it isn’t bad. Oh, it isn’t awesome either, but it wasn’t bad enough for me to shut it off in disgust or boredom before it got to the end. Holy backhanded compliment, Batman!

To me he sounds like Finley Quaye. Yeah. It’s middle-of-the-road pop music for two songs, and then attempted-soulful acoustic songs for the other two. Sure, it’s probably better than what I could do, so I’m just the armchair reviewer who doesn’t know anything, right? Right. But it didn’t exactly make me want to spin it again.

And if Mr. Bell has Googled his name and found this, Hello. I really do wish you well with this. I’m all for hearing new music and now I’ve heard some of yours. But even if HMV is selling the album for $7.99 for a limited time in August (13th – 20th), I’m probably not gonna rush out to get it. Sorry, man. Good luck to you anyway.

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