Barrett, Drew - The Strolling Minstrel

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Independent/Skyward Productions
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:08:00

Some might be familiar with this guy as he used to front the AOR-band Barakade, which released one CD titled Volume 1 some years ago. It's been years since I heard that CD so I guess it's time to pull the dust off that disc and check it out. Drew Barrett is obviously a very talented guy as he has practically done everything concerning this CD himself.

This CD is actually a pretty hard to describe as it blends various influences into a mix which is hard to pigeonhole. For starters this is basically hard rock influenced. Though it bears evidence of elements from both AOR and pop. The songs are rather slow-paced, and together with Drew's low-to-mid ranged vocals, this sounds like nothing I have ever heard before. The Strolling Minstrel presents a nice mix of "rockers" and acoustic based ballads. Some songs have female backing vox which was a nice touch, although I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with Drew's own vox at all times. Although he sings pretty well, he still has a limited range and he should avoid the low-ranged singing, as the mid-ranged singing is more appealing in the long run. This is just my personal preference though. Also, the guitar-tone of the distorted guitars could be improved.

The quality of the songs varies from being below average to very good. Songs like "Lovers," "A Song For Sara" and "Caught In The Act" are really great tracks. "Caught In The Act," to me, is the best track and shows Drew singing with both passion and emotion. The chorus comes off as something from Holy Soldier's debut CD. Great song! The production is OK, but bear evidence of being an indie release.

To sum up, this is an album with too much variation when it comes to the quality of the songs. There are some great tracks on this CD but unfortunately too many fillers. Drew Barrett is definitely on to something and he proves to be a great songwriter at his best. Hopefully his next effort will be more even.

[This review originally appeared May 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
City Of Sin / Worked Myself To Death / Lovers / Change Is On The Way / Soldier Song / Is There Somewhere Else We Go / A Song For Sara / Judicial Breakdown / Visitors From Saturn's Moon / Caught In The Act / Billy-Bob

Drew Barrett - all instruments

The Strolling Minstrel (1999)

Genre: Melodic Rock-AOR

Origin US

Added: December 10th 2004
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Artist website:
Hits: 1068
Language: english


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