Rambles, a Cultural Arts Magazine
May 8, 2004
Are we there yet?
By Jenny Ivor
Groovelily features Valerie Vigoda, the founding member, who sings and plays a vivacious electric violin; Brendan Milburn, who sings and plays keyboards; and Gene Lewin on drums. The vocalists’ voices harmonize pleasantly and effectively, and the sound the band produces is original and addictive, blurring the boundaries between rock, jazz, folk and pop.
The 12 tracks on Are We There Yet? keep your interest, keep you listening to the smart lyrics, keep your feet fidgeting to dance and keep your finger on the replay button. The violin soars and sighs, the keyboards are confident and effects are well placed for maximum impact, while the percussion is punchy and enthusiastic.
I particularly love the opening track, “Rewind,” which hypnotically interweaves the musicianship and the vocals “I need to get my hands on the remote control of my life, press rewind!” The “Apocalyptic Love Song (I Don’t Care)” promotes Valerie’s considerable vocals to a cascading accompaniment on keyboards, interspersed by her own violin.
Groovelily’s CD defies pure categorization, and although there are traces of fleeting familiarity in the tones of the two singers, and “tip-of-the-tongue, can’t-remember” moments within a few of the tracks regarding styles reminiscent of others, I could not firm up any of these transient moments of deja-vu, other than to think it was maybe because I had listened to it so much already! If you are looking for original, intelligent, anytime-listening, then this is the CD to fit any mood — laidback cool and sometimes jazzy, yet brimming with mature pop enthusiasm; smart and often cynical lyrics, but often powerfully raw and emotive. I’m hooked!