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Music Review: Kurt Reifler

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Why isn’t this guy signed to a major label?

I have to admit that two songs into the indy-released CD by Kurt Reifler I was just blown away and that question kept running through my mind. When I finished listening to the CD, I had to double check to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. Nope, no major label. How is that possible?

Reifler brings a fresh, hearty voice, smooth guitar playing, and a confidence that you don’t find in some established artists, forget new artists. One of the bibles of music, Billboard magazine, has deemed the 10-track disc “a promising debut.”

With all due respect, talk about an understatement.

Consider — “Smile,” has a powerful alt-rock sound accentuated by luscious, mature guitars and a steady, but not overdone, percussion. The lyrics are stunningly simple yet convey a powerful story (“When I see you smile, It tells me irony has taken a hold of me, When I see you smile, It tells me death has come to translate my thoughts tonight”).

But Reifler is no one trick pony. Take the equally lush “Arrogance,” that slows the pace a bit and mixes in a definite R&B/soul sound with the rock (“Your arrogance, That you pervade, It offends me, Your arrogance, That you convey, It offends me).

According to his official bio, Reifler developed his skills in a funk/rock band, as a session musician who played original material during open mics in New York for a year. His influences are, not surprisingly, all over the board. But listening to his music, one gets the impression this is a man who thinks about his experiences – and shares them best through his songs. Listening to his songs is almost like seeing the experiences he’s had – in the U.S., Eastern Europe, the U.K., and elsewhere – through his eyes. Or talking to a very close friend.

Consider the lyrics to “Wake up Dead” – “Don't know how to be afraid, Can't help but to feel no shame, Wake up dead each day to see, the World wouldn’t wait for me.”
The world wouldn't wait for me.

What a find.

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