"If you like it and think maybe your friends might like it, burn a copy for yourself and give them the original. You won't hurt my feelings by spreading the love about." (Taken from the liner notes of Craig Kleemann's CDEP 2003)
Go ahead. Burn it, rip it, put the MP3s online. Kazaa, Morpheus, Limewire. Get to it. New York's finest, and fellow Blogcritic Craig Kleemann wants to get his stuff out there. He's a smart kid.
Pick up his CDEP and you'll want to spread the love. Believe me.
The three-track EP kicks it off with the sarcastic and slightly mean "Punchline." A catchy guitar melody gets backup from an almost techno-ish drum machine beat and some keyboard riffs throughout. The handclaps are a little over-the-top, but overall the song has a nice effect. Craig reminds me (lyrically) of a young Elvis Costello with lyrics like "I still keep your picture on my wall/and I drew X's on top of your eyes/You wonder why I won't pick up the phone/ But call-I.D. works wonders."
The melody is terribly easy to remember, and I guarantee you'll have the chorus in your head later. I can't help but love the bridge: "And for the record you're so derivative/ Who really calls themselves a scenester?/ I get the feeling you'll stay in Utah forever/ You gotta know you're the worst kisser ever." This song is funny and catchy and fun. It's my favorite off this EP.
"In The Way" starts off with a raw-sounding recording of the first two lines of the chorus that fades into a softly strummed guitar and vocal. The song deals with self-realization in relationships, and Craig does a nice job of drawing empathy from his audience with the painfully admitted "4 a.m. and I can't put this pen to paper/ You can call this failing if you can call my life a test/ 4 a.m. and I can't finish what I started/ You can call me a failure cause you know I learned it from the best." He finishes out the song in a long, tortured syllable that makes for a truly touching and melancholy moment. Nicely done, kid.