October 06, 2001

Rami Perlman "girlmusic"

New York's been producing folk-rock singer-songwriter types for quite a while now, and Rami Perlman is the newest installment of this phenomenon. Know what? It ain't bad at all. Sometimes I wince at artists who play all their instruments, but Perlman is a talented young man, and plays quite well, and is joined by some talented people here and there, including Mighty Mighty Bosstones god Nate Albert on occasional guitar. Perlman's got a soft-spoken voice, and at times reminds of Badfinger, Emmit Rhodes, and, more modernly, A Don Piper Situation. Elliott Smith, and Clem Snide. And, as it needs to be said--all of these are love songs, but he's not whiny. So it's okay.

"Take for Granted" kicks off the set, with Perlman crooning about slowing down and appreciating life a little bit more. "Boy of Your Dreams" finds Perlman singing to a girl who's just left him, and, yet, at the end, there's a little surprise about the character--he's not a sympathetic one, yet you feel one and the same. "Kiss on the Bridge" a loud, yet sad love song; with full band backing and more awesome guitar playing from Nate Albert. "Falling For You" is the only moment where I wince; buying a slurpee just really doesn't work for me in the context of an acoustic love-ballad, especially one that's quite lovely besides that moment, though I like that moment near the end where the full band breaks through. "I Know You" continues that acoustic love song trend. girlmusic closes with "Scared" a lo-fi country song that sounds a lot like Eef Barzelay.

Mr. Perlman, you've got some talent! I'm glad you sent this CD. It's really made me smile. As I can tell, you've got some good ideas, and girlmusic is an excellent start. My advice to you would be simple: get a band, go on tour. I like the acoustic stuff, but these tracks I'm sure would simply smoke with a full band backing. Maybe you could convince Nate Albert to leave those Bosstones and be one of your promisers, because he plays some great guitar.

girlmusic is a promising debut from someone who I'm sure will be featured in "ones to watch" columns in Rolling Stone and Spin, and, for once, those columns will be right on. Seek this little self-release out if you can; it will be worth the trouble.

--Joseph Kyle

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