Review by Andy McCann, a performing, recording and touring musician for the past 14 years. Successful songwriter with several credits on albums that have sold hundreds of thousands of units as well as a paid creative writer who focused on music reviews, www.aprilaudio.com ! Song Production.
I’m sitting here in my music studio and the sunshine is streaming through the window and gently warming my arms. It’s been a long, cold winter but the blue sky above and the sunshine dancing on my desk brings hope. Summertime. Life. Love. Friends. It feels like the perfect day to turn on “The Night Turns To Morning (Remix)” – the latest offering from the Netherlands based artist Martin Lucassen.
You may not be familiar with the name but it’s time you picked up a copy, put it in your car stereo and leave it in all summer.! This 12 track album is a remix of Martin’s debut album that was released in 2015 and, as a music producer myself, it’s hard to believe that this guy only began writing and producing songs less than 3 years ago!!
“Beauty All Around” kicks the album off strongly and launches us into images of tulips, sunshine and windmills. The smooth vocals linger over the sweet electric guitar before drums, bass and ukelele break into some summer time beats that bring memories of Coldplay into my mind. It’s hard to keep the smile off my face with this one.!
“These Are The Times” comes up next with a rockier feel and a catchy sing-along chorus “These are the times so get going”. Martins unique voice really captures your attention and works perfectly with the soaring electric guitar parts that wouldn’t be out of place on a top country song.!
“Heart on Fire”, “Do You Want Some Love?” and “Come To Me” all showcase the strong song-writing ability that Martin possesses as well as his fantastic arrangement skills. Well crafted lyrics mixed with great musical creativity really make this album feel fresh yet also strangely familiar – it won’t take too many listens before you are singing along with all the words!!
The album gets a nice acoustic break with “Happy Travellers” that would work perfectly around those campﬁres on the longer summer nights.!
One song that really hit home for me was “I Love You More”. It shows how such an honest, simple song only needs simple instrumentation to really capture a person and grab them by the heart.!
If I had to pick a top track from this album it would be a hard choice. “How Will It Be?” sounds like a top track that wouldn’t sound out of place on John Mayer’s next album. Or how about “Love Me Right Now”? It sounds like a cowrite with the great Ryan Adams and includes some awesome harmonica playing. If I really had to choose….it would be “Love You From Scratch”. This track sounds like a radio hit right from the start – great arrangement, top musicians and a great mix that will keep your head bouncing as your drive down the highway.!
It’s sometimes hard to describe music that doesn’t ﬁt the traditional genres but “Heavenly Alt-Folk” might just work for this fantastic album. Do yourself a favour and get a copy today.!
The Night Turns To Morning Light (REMIX), review by iamchxn, a professional music producer/ engineer and A&R for several indie and major labels.
The smooth voice of singer/songwriter Martin Lucassen is an incredible instrument, it was amazing on his original project, “The Night Turns to Morning Light,” and it’s simply brilliant on “The Night Turns To Morning Light (REMIX).” The album is revamped, remixed, and the result is a re-creation of a new sound. The project starts where the original left off, literally.
“Beauty All Around,” provides a solid opening, its a little less rock fortified a little more rhythmically enhanced with a classic mellow indie sound. It’s a little gritty and I have to admit I like that sound coming from Martin.
“These Are The Times,” has to be one of my favorite remixes. Martin’s voice bounces across the industry of guitar driven sound and smooth drum cadences with very little reverb. The track feels good, like care free easy summers, or smooth drives down the coast.
On “Heart On Fire,” Martin’s voice seems to float and flutter over a pop filled rock crescendo, lifted by breezy bass swells. But don’t mistake the consistent guitar strings for mundane, much like the songs before Martin continues to reinvent an already nervy sound.
“Break The Glass” has a rainy day sound, it’s mellifluous but with enough of a burr to keep your attention, it’s a unique quality that Martin seems to master.
“Do You Want Some Love” is a sort of woeful type of beauty, the original had a Beatles meets indie rocker sound, while I do think it still echoes a slight hint of The Beatles influence, the remix is cleaner, mellow, and passionate.
“Happy Travelers,” is a thick reverb heavy guitar with Martin’s vocals streaming seamlessly over it. The slightly acoustic blends give the track a nostalgic feel, reminds me of something British, light layers of extraneous strings create a fantastic sound.
“Come To Me” is another highlight on the remix album. There’s a perfect pairing of vocals and instrumentation here; the band plays with unflinching conviction, Martin’s tone is effortless, the background vocals are crisp, concise and ambitiously passionate. This song is perfectly put together.
“I Love You More,” is romantic thoughts personified, the lyrics are passionate, and pure. In a time when love can appear overrated this song is a perfect reminder that happy endings do exist. Martin’s tone is lighter on the remix, his warm and familiar bravado, is “like coming home.”
While “Love You From Scratch,” is another stand out in a sea of hits. The guitar intro is pure genius. The tambourine, the drums, the vocals, everything about this one is well put together. This is feel good music.
“What You Mean To Me” is like a musical painting, it does more than tell a story it literally paints a picture of emotion, of passion, of happiness, and of heartache. There’s no over the top instrumentation here, it’s pure artistry, it reminds me of classic rock, Martin’s niche for taking a sound and turning it into his own is more than apparent as he glides through the chorus singing, “do you know what you mean to me?”
“How Will It Be” exemplifies Martin’s ability to express diverse range, it’s a blues track, filled with emotional attitude. It’s one of the most relatable tracks on the album.
“Love Me Right Now” is a classic way to wrap up an already solid project. It’s up-tempo, there’s an amazing harmonica ripping through the track, the melody is catchy, and Martin’s vocal tone is warm and passionate. His charisma is palpable, and his talent is relentless. It’s the perfect close to a perfectly orchestrated and well put together project.
THE NIGHT TURNS TO MORNING LIGHT (REMIXES) Martin Lucassen Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist, www.mikeocull.com
The Night Turns To Morning Light (Remixes) by singer and songwriter Martin Lucassen is smart, Beatle-esque, indie guitar pop done exceedingly well. Lucassen is a fine, capable tunesmith with a smooth, clear tenor voice and he has remixed this, his first record, to be a more personal artistic statement than in its previous form. The songs here are strong enough to stand up to pretty much any treatment, but Lucassen has turned them into sonic candy that satisfies on both the writing and production levels.
Lucassen veers into different flavors on this set, but his voice and melodic sensibility are the common threads that unite those flavors into a cohesive record. “Beauty All Around” sounds a bit like a kinder, gentler U2 fronted by Matthew Sweet with touches of both funk and acoustic guitar. “These Are The Times” is sunny and upbeat pop rock with a soundtrack-worthy chorus. Lucassen displays the kind of melodicism most songwriters fall short of all over this record without breaking a sweat and it’s his most impressive quality. His vocal delivery is calm, similar to Paul Simon, but a little less folksy.
There are no bad songs here or obvious filler and, at twelve tracks, the album is a good length and doesn’t crush under its own weight. Even in this age of one-song downloads, The Night Turns To Morning Light
works as a traditional album when listened to that way. Even at first listen, it’s easy to get pulled into the world these songs create and not want to leave it. It’s a pretty cool place.
Production is crisp and clean, with nothing overpowering the big picture vibes of any songs. The guitars and vocals are particularly well recorded and act as a textural tie in throughout the tracks. Speaking of tracks, other standouts include “Love You From Scratch,” which sounds like a younger and more energetic Squeeze, the lovely folk/rock waltzing of “Do You Want Some Love,” and the mid-tempo fun of “What You Mean To Me.”
It’s very clear that this Lucassen fellow has true pop mastermind potential. He brings together a winning combination of hooks, energy, texture, and boyish innocence that recalls past greats from The Beatles to Crowded House to Roddy Frame and yet hits like fresh air. Fans of intelligent guitar-driven songwriting will find much to like here. The human feel on this is a wonderful switch from the mainstream machine music they call “pop” that often seems inescapable. It would also be wonderful to see Lucassen build a large body of work as tuneful as this release. The musical world is in dire need of some great songs. He certainly has the talent to get himself on the right trajectory to bring his sound to a whole lot of people. Energy, emotion, and craft are what great songwriting is all about, and The Night Turns To Morning Light offers an embarrassment of riches in all three departments.
Martin Lucassen checks back in with his faithful on his latest release Nobody Talks About It
. Lucassen is a brilliant and promising singer/songwriter from the Netherlands whose music is a combination of classic British guitar pop, Americana, and folk music topped off with remarkable lyrics and melodies. Comparisons to pop giants Crowded House, Matthew Sweet, and Michael Penn come easily and are quite appropriate. His vocals are smooth, dreamy, and wistful, never overly dramatic, yet cool and calm at center stage.
Nobody Talks About It
finds Lucassen again in fine form. He has tightened up his songwriting even more than on his previous efforts and his emphasis on song craft is quite apparent. Lengths are shorter, words more carefully chosen, and instruments are more artfully placed this time out and a bit of a psychedelic influence is displayed and well handled. Lucassen again did much of the mixing and production himself and the record gets high marks for sonics. His guitar tones are especially luscious and groovy on both electric and acoustic and the guitar performances are of equally high caliber.
There are 11 songs presented here and each of them has its own distinct identity, which shows another degree of songwriting skill. The opening track, “Falling To The Ground,” is a driving and cinematic rocker, with Lucassen’s almost delicate vocals floating on top of the band. Many of his songs have that movie-esque, soundtrack feel, which is an attractive quality, and this one is seriously looking for a film to open. “Believed” is another highlight and features a strong mid- tempo beat and some slinky, almost funk-influenced guitar work.
“I Want You To Stay” is gentle pop Americana, with acoustic guitars up front and some sweet Hammond organ in the back. Lucassen is especially slick in the lost art of ordering the tracks of an album, and a softer song like this is a beautiful breath of air in and amongst all the electric guitars. The uniqueness of each song also contributes to the flow of the overall record, as well, and listeners don’t get bogged down in soundalike tracks halfway through the set.
All the songs here are strong and it is easy to get pulled into Lucassen’s world and drift away on his aching melodies. Other must-listen cuts are the Beatle-ish “Beautiful Thing,” the upbeat and guitar-heavy “Welcome To My World,” and the introspective and personal “New Year’s Eve,” in which beautiful melodies tell us of some difficult things that occurred over the course of the last calendar.
Taken as a whole, Nobody Talks About It
is another winner from Martin Lucassen and a telling step in his evolution as both a recording artist and a singer of songs. He’s clearly on an upward trajectory and is refining his writing and recording chops a bit more with each new release. It will
be interesting to see where he goes from here, as this collection is about as good as it gets in the realm of intelligent pop/rock music.
NOBODY TALKS ABOUT IT Martin Lucassen Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com
It’s the big things and sometimes the little things that make a great artist stand out, it’s the passion, it’s the artistry, and most importantly it’s the heart. Martin Lucassen’s newest project entitled, “Nobody Talks About It,” is creativity personified.
The project opens with a piano driven, exuberant tune entitled “Falling to the Ground;” that is not only lively but it’s reminiscent of the classic sound, Simple Minds gave us in the 80’s. But don’t let that detour you the song is just as contemporary as it is classic. Martin’s voice coupled with the instrumentation on this track is just the beginning of his beautiful adaptation of creative sound.
“Believed” is one of my favorite of three tracks on the project, the song just “feels good;” from the second it comes on Martin’s voice proves he is creating his own path, leaving melodic footprints along the way.
“I Want You To Stay,” is a somber story we can all relate to, the lyrics are heartfelt, the pain is obvious, but it’s the sound of Martin’s melancholy vocals that really capture the listener.
While, “Hawkesbury Radio” is such a clever gimmick, Martin’s voice coupled with some great mixing, a little echo, reverb, and awesome dynamic processing give this tune such a different sound. It feels like retro radio, the guitar chords are rapid, broken chord strums versus simultaneous strumming, and he sounds collectively passionate.
What makes this project worth a listen aside from Martin’s obvious talent is the way he moved beyond creating just singles and looked more into formatting a great album. “Beautiful Thing” is an example of his innovation. Its two minutes and fifty three seconds of intoxicatingly melodic patterns, chords, and traditional tempos that draw the listener in and charm your musical ear into musical submission. “
“A Dark Rainy Sunday” reminds you its okay to be human, “Don’t feel like loser, you’re human too;” great advice over the bass driven original piece.
While “Magic Home” has such a smooth flow and nostalgic feel, that it seems to seamlessly pull you into a story line, there’s a slight stream of consciousness in the lyrical delivery provided by Martin which only enhances the classic sound.
Another one of my favorites on the project is, “Optimistic” not only is the message of the song beautiful, but the harmonies are gorgeous, the production is lush and the retro vibe on this one is palpable.
“Forget Time” is a finely calibrated interpretation of artistic ability, great vocal range, and perfect timing, a really solid track.
One of the most creatively written and performed tracks on the album is “Welcome To My World,” the song incorporates elements of classical, pop, and even a slight hint of rhythm and blues while remaining rooted deeply in originality. Martin’s voice doesn’t disappoint, the background vocal are subtle but a really nice addition over the roaring drum pattern.
“New Years Eve” is the final stand out track that not only ends the project in a masterful manner, but cleverly pushes the listener to re-evaluate and assess their own New Year while simultaneously drawing you into his world. It’s a perceptive, sensitive, way to commensurate the finale of the album.
Overall this is a solid project, perhaps it’s the excruciating honesty in his poetically drenched lyrics, or the reminder that real music still exists whenever his voice delves in a pop, rock or folk influenced piece, whatever it is, it awakens some of the same truths inside anyone who is listening and reminds us; “Real music still exists.”
I guess we live in a world where labels and pigeonholes have become too important. It’s all the fault of us lazy journalists and our attempts to package and market music in neat, easily demarcated bundles. Martin Lucassen’s sophomore album reminds us of the folly of our ways, for even though it happily wears terms such as pop and occasionally folk or Americana on its sleeve, it is surely more than enough to describe it as a collection of slick, well crafted, commercially accessible songs.
Album ‘Nobody Talks About It’
So if we abandon the criteria of assigning labels, what can we use as musical yardsticks? Well, we can talk about the textures, the way often a series of layered sounds are woven together to create depth and dynamics, in the same way that the beauty and impact of a water colour painting is in its ability to apply dramatic colours in one place and leave the paper blank in another.
We can certainly talk about the benefits of a clean-limbed approach towards the instrumentation, for with the possible exception of the excursion into edgier pop-rock territory that is Welcome To My World, ironically, Martin’s world is one of musical economy, of subtle detail and of restraint rather than of showing his hand too often. Why be big when you can be clever?
It is this musical elbowroom that he allows himself which allows the subtle mechanics of the songs reveal themselves through the spaces in the top line melodies. Here a wonderfully concise bass run pops through, there sumptuous vocal harmonies pass by just on the edge of the song or more often than not the spaces are filled with atmosphere and anticipation, a tool as powerful as any clever riff or fancy drum fill (take note kids.)
Pop music is done often, but in general not done well. All too often it is happy to sacrifice creativity for formula, to wander very narrow, established pathways for fear of losing site of the pop-fan dollar. Martin Lucassen shows us that if you flip this model on its head, draw in influences from a number of genres, you can write songs, which both appeal to the masses and retain the integrity required by the more discerning listener. Throwaway pop songs that you will want to keep forever!
Even by the second track on the album, Believe, I am reaching for comparisons to such as Crowded House, pretty much the highest benchmark in my world for music able to offer both popular and critical appeal. Beautiful Thing meanders through some hazy, acid laced, bucolic, Beatle-esque soundscapes, Magic Home employs some wonderfully shuffling Americana and New Years Eve is a wistfully reflective letter to himself. It is both diverse yet wonderfully consistent.
And the narrative of the album takes a similar route as the music. Its combination of being both concise and lyrical, gets the message across in clear and poetic terms, is personal but relatable on the part of the listener, it is heartfelt without being clichéd, a modern approach to expressing timeless sentiment.
The best songwriters don’t concern themselves with labels or genres, they understand that it all comes down to just one thing – creativity – and whatever inspirations you take, whichever musical building blocks you use to fashion that melodic vehicle, it is all there to be used and learned from. Martin Lucassen understands this better than most.
Check out his website: http://martinlucassen.com
This is the conclusion of laserlife a reviewer of the album “Nobody Talks About It” at thebandcampdiaries.tumblr.com.
Highlights of the review “Nobody Talks About it”:
I am glad to see Martin returning to the music scene with a direct, energetic and accomplished second album
“Falling To The Ground”, a truly epic song with some amazing stadium rock vibes. The track blends in epic guitar tones with lush piano melodies, driven drums and a really stunning approach to vocals.
“Believe”, and it is a really enticing midtempo ballad with some great acoustic guitar tones, pianos annd electric guitar leads with a bluesy feel. The song is perfect to match Martin’s personal and direct lyrics.
“Hawkesbury Radio”. This song seamlessly blurs the lines between pop and rock, making me think of the work of eclectic artists such as John Lennon or The Kinks, just to mention but a few.
“Forget Time” is a a beautiful acoustic ballad with a very introspective tone and some amazing melodies.
Overall, this is a great collection of songs to discover and enjoy completely!
The whole review can be read here.
My new video of ‘Magic home’ from the album ‘Nobody Talks About It’ the is available on YouTube. Check it out!
What people say about this track:
“I really liked the calm beat and I felt like the song was balanced and had great vocals. Really enjoyed the song”
“Not only is the excellent instrumentation notable, but the song also houses some of Lucassen’s most surreal, poetic lyricism.”
“I love the guitar and beat here – it creates a real atmosphere. Great driving song.”
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Loved loved loved this album! Your new fan, Jess ~ Her reaction of her review of the album “Nobody Talks About It”, which contains 11 original new English songs.
“Nobody Talks About It”
is Martin Lucassen’s second singer-songwriter album (released on 9 December 2016) leans heavily toward pop stylings and contains 11 well written songs. Besides pop there are hints to Americana and Folk.
Highlights of Jess’s review:
- Martin brings sweet singing and riveting lyrics with taut instrumentation.
- He takes deep vocal stabs through his emotional truth, which is matched by a level of musicianship; in its melodic company of great illustrative backdrops
- Undoubtedly he is navigating the music in beautiful unpredictable ways.
- The overall sound is an untamed beauty, just as the nature of the music intended.
- Each track brings a new element of surprise.
- There are some lighter songs throughout but there is a striking atmosphere in this album.
- This record unlocks the mystery of emotions that are complemented by the lyrical context.
The entire review can be found here.
Listen to the Album ‘Nobody Talks About It’ on Spotify
All the best wishes for the year 2017! That you’re dreams may come true!
Here’s my New Year’s Eve Song! Just released!
A happy new year,