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Independent Rock Artist Releases New Album

Douglas Boultinghouse
Staff Writer    

 Courtesy of KIIARENS.COM
Graham Colton

   “These are the best days of your life,” Graham Colton sings on his new single.

    Independent rock artist and singer/songwriter Graham Colton released his new album “Here Right Now,” Oct. 30.  The album serves both as a follow up to the 2004 album “Drive,” by the Graham Colton Band and the debut solo effort by Colton.

    Still getting his foot in the door, Colton remains unknown to many. 

    The Oklahoma City-native graduated from Heritage Hall School, a college-prep school, where he took his football team to win the 2A State Championship as star quarterback in 1998.

   Colton’s move to Dallas, Texas to attend Southern Methodist University opened the doors to his career in music.  There he formed a small band and performed at local venues.  Those performances sparked interest in many people who e-mailed him asking where they could purchase a copy of his album. 

   Colton soon recorded a demo album that spread across the Internet and ended up in the hands of Counting Crows front man Adam Duritz.  The door was now wide open. 

   The band began opening for the Counting Crows at shows across the nation.  Then, recognized by Strummer Recordings/Universal Records, the band had a record deal. 

   Colton and his band continued to tour and branched out to new fans while touring with John Mayer, Maroon 5, Train, Dave Matthews Band, Guster and Kelly Clarkson.  The band came to my attention in 2005 as they opened for Kelly Clarkson in Memphis, Tenn. 

   After the show, I picked up a copy of the debut album “Drive.” 

   I was not disappointed one bit.  To this day, “Drive” holds a strong spot in my top five albums of all time. 

   The album features the tracks: “Don’t Give Up On Me,” “Since You Broke It,” “First Week,” “Morning Light,” “Sending a Note,” “Cigarette,” “Killing Me,” “How Low (Breakdown),” “Cut,” “Don’t Know What You Got (South)” and “All The World Tonight.” 

   To highlight the album, here are reviews of my three favorite tracks. 

   “So tell me, did you think I couldn't tell you might do just as well without me? / Tell me, did you think I wouldn't mind when I knew you were lying again? / So what you gonna do with yourself, move on to someone else you can play with? / 'Cause you could never get me again / Yeah you could never get me again / 'Cause you know it never seems to work right since you broke it,” Colton sings on “Since You Broke It.” 

   The song contains guitars and drums, which create a perfect alternative rock song with influences of the Counting Crows and R.E.M. present. 

   Another track tells the story of straddling the line when deciding whether or not to tell someone goodbye or hang on to the relationship.

   On “Killing Me,” Colton sings, “The only thing you ever wanted was for me to be here to stay / Now you've gone away / I wish I could pick up the phone and tell you how I'm feeling / And tell you how I've changed / I'd tell you everything / I really don't know if it makes it all better, but I let myself go and put it in a letter to you / I know I've been stupid and don't have a reason / But I'm trying not to ruin the one thing I believe in you / It's killing me, killing you.” 

   The lyrics, acoustic guitars and slight echoes of the drums make this song a simple rock ballad that demands attention. 

   Perhaps the slowest and most simplistic song, “All The World Tonight,” brings the album to a meaningful close. 

   “I'm looking off in the distance beyond the Neon lights / I can see all the stars are out tonight / I'm missing all my good friends I promised I would write / And I can see all the world tonight,” Colton sings about beginning a new life. 

   Now three years later, Colton continues to tour.  As promotion for his new album comes the opening gigs for Vanessa Carlton on their small theater tour this fall. 

   "The last album I made with my band was heavily influenced by what we all loved listening to and the artists we toured with. Looking back, it was hard for me to identify who I was as an artist in that situation. I had to learn how to be a performer and a songwriter in my own right before I could find my true self to make the album I really wanted to, which is now completely natural and 100 percent honest," Colton revealed on his MySpace page. 

   On the more personal album, “Here Right Now,” you will find:  “Telescope,” “You Find A Way,” “Best Days,” “Forget About You,” “On Your Side,” “Cellophane Girl,” “Always In Love,” “If Love Was Enough,” “Whatever Breaks My Heart,” “Take You Back,” “New Years Resolution,” “Let It Go” and the hidden track “Here Right Now.” 

   Again, here are reviews of the top three tracks. 

   “And it's a winding road / And it's a long way home / So don't wait  / For someone to tell you it's too late / 'Cause these are the best days / There's always something tomorrow / So I say let's make the best of tonight / Here comes the rest of our lives,” Colton sings on the single “Best Days.”

   Here you have an alternative track that sums up any graduation.  I am disappointed the song was released in July instead of May. I would have loved to play it at my high school graduation. 

   While on tour with Clarkson, the two shared a six-month romance.  Because touring and traveling kept them apart when the 2005 tour wrapped, the romance ended.  They still remain good friends and support each other’s careers. 

   "The whole album is based on relationships with Kelly and other women who were important in my life," Colton mentioned on his page. 

   As a fan of both acts, though not officially stated, I have a strong feeling that “One Your Side” was written about Kelly. 

   “I don’t know where you are / But I know where you’ve been / You’re just a small town girl / You didn’t care about nothing / I don’t know where to start / But I hope that it ends up with you being happy / Wherever you are,” sings Colton before the chorus. “If someday our stars don’t align / And we go our own ways / You should know / I’m always on your side.” 

   The song makes it clear that things did end on a good note without any bitterness.  Many fans still hope there will be a “Kraham” reunion in the future. 

   “Let It Go,” labeled as the last track, could not be more honest. 

   “Stars will explode / Mountains erode / Oceans overflow / Let it go / Now yesterday is too far away / It’s the end of the road / Let it go,” Colton sings with an acoustic guitar and a series of strings. 

   The lyrics provide a summary of the entire album and everything he has been through. 

   You can hear samples of songs, as well as read journal entries from Graham on his official MySpace page. 

   I highly recommend you pick up both of his albums.  You can also order his nine-track demo CD in the store on his page. 

   Take my word. You will not be disappointed.

   Have a comment? Please e-mail us.

ŠThe Voice 2007
01/13/2008 03:29:36 PM —