SINGLE REVIEW: Better Than Before by Eduard Alexogiannopoloulos


Eduard Alexogiannopoloulos is a singer and songwriter in the acoustic pop genre originally from Greece (as some may guess from his surname) but is now based in England. His musical style has been compared to Counting Crows, Matt Costa and Third Eye Blind though I would personally place his music in the category of songwriters like Ed Sheeran and George Ezra, along with the British group from a few years ago, The Feeling. He released his first single, Need To Know, in 2017.

This song, Better Than Before, is a great showcase for Eduard’s unique sensibilities as a songwriter. Musically, the track is essentially upbeat acoustic pop and Eduard is blessed with a distinctive yet very radio-friendly voice. Lyrically, there’s a likeable quirkiness that is self-evident from the opening lines: “All we need is an hour of sunshine, a glass of cheap wine….”.

What is impressive about the song is how memorable it is without relying on over-repetition like so many modern chart hits. The vocal melody soon latches in the mind while the lyrics continually move the song forward, so that it never grows stale. The subtle Scouting For Girls-type quarter-note piano also aids the momentum and special mention should go to the first rate production, which both inventive and classy.

Overall, this is a well-crafted, infectious second single from a young singer/songwriter who has a gift for writing charming melodies set to colourful lyrics. His music seems perfect for the times as well as highly suited to mainstream pop radio, so with more songs of this high quality I predict this is one name you may hear a lot of in the future. Good luck pronouncing it.



VERDICT: 8.6 out of 10 

Alex Faulkner

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SINGLE REVIEW: This House Is Ours by The Fireflys


The Fireflys are an alternative rock/Americana hailing from Runcorn, in the North West of England. They are based around songwriter and lead vocalist Lee Wylding, and have become one of the North West’s most popular bands. They’ve already garnered plenty of media attention, with Mike Peters of the legendary punk group The Alarm describing them as “a good mix of REM and The Gin Blossoms”.

Other strong influences include Neil Young and Tom Petty, but The Fireflys have developed their own style. In terms of live performance they have supported Noel Gallagher and Ocean Colour Scene, and even had their music played at Manchester United football matches.

In July, I gave a rave review to their last single Runaway and this song, This House Is Ours is taken from their forthcoming 5th album Only Us, Northern Lights. It’s an instantly infectious Americana-influenced track with a compelling lead vocal performance from singer and songwriter Lee Wylding. Musically, you can hear traces of bands like The Jayhawks, Counting Crows and Wilco as well as a sonic similarity to another northern English group, the little known but excellent alt. folk band The Loose Kites.

Starting with country-style picked guitar and then joined by the rich sound of Hammond organ, the opening lines show that Lee Wylding has a gift for writing darkly poetic and romantic lyrics, something he has in common with Guy Garvey from Elbow: “Shipwrecked on this land, so far from what’s ours, I see what’s left of our own sunken hearts…”. The verses are interspersed with bursts of Dylan-esque harmonica and the music builds to a soaring chorus that is understated yet instantly memorable and anthemic: “It’s a beautiful life, cultivated over hours….”.

Overall, this is another hugely enjoyable single from this consistently excellent group. They carry the torch for a long tradition of British bands absorbing American influences and making them their own that goes back to The Beatles and The Stones. This superbly produced song is perfect for alternative radio, and they have the commercial potential to be as big as their musical heroes. If you like the musical style of Mumford and Sons but want a band with a bit more passion and edge, then The Fireflys are most definitely for you.


VERDICT = 9.1 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

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E.P. REVIEW: Give Us A Try by That’s The Dream


That’s The Dream are a band from Montevideo in Uruguay. Their music is essentially commercial pop, with a slight rock feel given by the guitars. This three track E.P. is their first release as a group. The E.P. was written by Mauricio de los Santos and Federico Segredo, and produced by Antonio Acosta.

Give Us A Try, the title track, opens the E.P. in an upbeat way. Acoustic guitar and Mauricio’s distinctive singing form the main basis of the music, with some nice organ and lead guitar that add sonic colour. Lyrically, it is romantic fare, about encouraging someone to take a chance on a relationship. The title hook sticks in the mind fairly quickly, the song overall well-written and performed.

The Only One, track two, is slightly slower with a melancholy feel. Piano forms the main melodic sound of this song, aided by female vocals doubling the lead an octave higher at certain points, which is effective. The syncopated guitar on the second verse gives it a nice reggae feel, as well as rhythmic variety. Again, the lead vocal melody is excellent and is echoed in the piano part at times, adding to the poignancy of the song.

Last track, (Don’t Ever) Leave Me Behind, is very different to the first two and by far the longest. It is also, in my opinion, by far the best song of the three. It has both a South American and 60’s feel, the verse based around a fantastic chord progression leading to a memorable chorus. The lead vocals are passionate and emotive, the lead guitar towards the end the icing on the cake, with the band as a whole
putting in brilliant performances. Obviously, no one has let them know they’ve recorded a classic with this one, so it’s perhaps been underestimated due to its length. A four-minute edit of this song should be the lead track of this E.P.

Overall, this is a very good trio of tracks that show consistently high songwriting ability, all the band members making an important contribution to the overall sound of how they are delivered. As I’ve pointed out, my only criticism is with the running order but, regardless, That’s The Dream should find success with an impressive first release.


Alex Faulkner

Verdict: 8 out of 10







03:12   May 05, 2015