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Music Review: the Red Button – As Far As Yesterday Goes

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Songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Seth Swirsky and Mike Ruekberg formed the Red Button about five years ago. Their first release, 2007s She’s About To Cross My Mind, was straight out of the 1960s.

They have now returned with their second studio album, As Far As Yesterday Goes. While their press release proudly announces, “this time we’ve leapt boldly into the 70s,” I would have to disagree as they remain firmly rooted in the pop sound and style of the 1960s.

Swirsky and Ruekberg are just about perfect partners. Swirsky’s romantic optimism is kept in check by Ruekberg’s sense of realism. They combine to create catchy melodies, tight harmonies, with sound production values.

They never try to do what they are not capable of doing. They are not trying to change the music world or produce musical epics. What they consistently do is create three minute pop songs that would have been perfect fare back in the days of 1960s AM radio. The songs stay with you and are still playing in your mind hours later. They both admit they are drawn to the music of that era and it remains the kind they like to create and play. If you are going to produce music, it might as well be a sound that is true to your personal vision and that is what the Red Button consistently does and does well.

As one travels through the album’s 12 tracks, a person is quickly transported back to the golden age of singer/songwriter-driven pop. “Caught In The Middle” and “Easier” have a simple Beatlesque quality to them. If you listen closely to the title song, elements of The Zombies’ “She’s Not There” can be found.

The Red Button has crafted an album that looks back upon a much simpler time in the history of music. It’s a journey back through time well worth taking.

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