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June 20, 2024

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Shane Bartell
Too Soon To Say (self-released)

By: Amanda Mathson

While the fate of popular music may appear to lie solely in the hands of record label execs and their carefully constructed paper doll bands, it is refreshing to know there still exist talented singer-songwriter types who create music inspired by actual human emotion. Shane Bartell stands as an example of the ongoing struggle to sustain the notion of artistic inspiration in songwriting. His album Too Soon To Say rakes the coals of love extinguished, dabbles in self-reflection and teeters on the dividing line between personal epiphany and the depths of despair. The album launches an intoxicating drum beat right from the get go, weaving luscious vocals with rolling melodies that are fashionably understated and pleasantly predictable. His voice is sultry and smooth, at times resembling a modest Jeff Buckley who hasn't yet recognized the reaches of his full potential. If you have a single fiber of humanness in you, his soft-lilting melodies will strike a chord inside, rustling some buried heartache or distant longing for lost love. While there is nothing remarkably ground-breaking or extraordinary about his sound, Bartell shows definite promise in his contribution to the world's music library of good old-fashioned songwriting the way it was meant to be.
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