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Anthony Gomes

Music is the Medicine

Review by Lisa Palmeno

Anthony Gomes’ Music is the Medicine is innovative, imaginative, and completely original. From the rocking testimonial on the title song “Music is the Medicine” to the deeply-expressive blues on the last song “When the Right Woman Does You Wrong,” the listener is held captive to Gomes’ masculine voice, fabulous guitar style, and socially-conscious lyrics.

Gomes keeps his roots intact while mixing in rock, gospel, funk, and metal influences. Although billed as blues music, Music is the Medicine is extremely progressive in its themes, style and overall sound. The feature of this CD, however, is definitely the songwriting. All songs were co-written with various artists, such as the well-known Tom Hambridge (Susan Tedesci, Yvonne Schmidt); Kelly Keagy; Mark Selby; Trey Huffman; Bruce McCabe; and fellow band members Biscuit Miller (bass); and Jim Peterik (acoustic guitar). The result is a compilation of mesmerizing tunes that are hard to turn off.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Music is the Medicine
Penned with acclaimed songwriter Tom Hambridge, this title song is full of happy blues with a twist. Syncopated and funky, Gomes interjects the lyrics “Music is the Medicine” alternative style, making the words sound like they are coming through a megaphone in the background. A highlight of the CD, the title tune has something for listeners of all genres.
Bluebird
Gomes and Peterik co-wrote this tough and tight love song filled with metaphors and poetic rhythms. Backup singers join Gomes to create beautiful refrains between melancholy verses. A steady blues beat keeps the song moving, and Gomes ends with a cool, whining guitar riff.
Now She’s Gone
On this track, Gomes captures the emotions of a man who finally realizes he’s been deserted by his woman. Co-written with guitarist Jim Peterik, “Now She’s Gone” is a uniquely masculine love ballad with an addictive melody.
Stand Up
“Stand Up” is a tell-it-like-it-is call to action. The singer tells his girl to make up her mind with “If you really want me/It’s time to stand up or step down/Stand up.” This is the most funky-fied song on the album.
War on War
A 1960s protest-style song, “War on War” offers a strong message in a dramatic format. The sound is heavy on the bass, funky on the beat and serious in tone. Gospel backup vocals override the political statement, adding texture and depth.
Love is the Answer
Slow and melodic, “Love is the Answer” is an amalgamation of sounds. Gospel keyboards reminisce about Sunday morning service, the acoustic and electric guitars take turns at power ballad solos, and the backup singers call and answer phrases back and forth with Gomes. This is a powerful piece.
Everyday Superstar
“Everyday Superstar” encourages listeners to take a look at reality and appreciate the worth in themselves and the people who touch their lives everyday. Metaphysical in its lyrics such as “It ain’t fame gonna save your soul/Love, truth and honesty/Are deeper than celebrity,” this song is uplifting in meaning and mode of delivery.
Testify
The band captures the feeling of a Pentecostal church on this rock gospel hymn about love and music. Again, the backup vocals come into play, giving the song substance. Trez Gregory, Taryn Brainard, Susan Marshall, and Jacqueline Johnson lift up their voices like a church choir.
Waiting For A Sign
The “crossroads” mentioned at the beginning of this dynamic composition is not the place of Robert Johnson infamy, of which most blues songs speak. Gomes guitar sings brightly as he talks to God about giving him direction. Poetic, insightful, and wonderfully crafted, “Waiting for a Song” is the hit in the collection.
What If?
Biscuit Miller’s funky bass keeps this song deep in the groove as the vocalist explores the mysteries of faith and ponders the sins of man.
Run
“Run” is about knowing when to fight and when to hit the high road with “There’s a war going on/Can’t be lost, can’t be won/Bullets fly, you’ve got no gun/You gotta run.” The protest style from “War on War” continues here.
When the Right Woman Does You Wrong
This is the bluesiest track on the CD, with elongated phrases, sorrowful lyrics, and easy riffs thoughtfully placed over a keyboard background.
 
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