I’ll admit that Kyle Cox’s music style – which I would say is a mix between alternative, light rock, and folksy (at times)- is not one I usually actively seek. I don’t have anything against this musical combination per se. I just don’t always find songs in this genre that really speak to me – either through their rhythm or lyrics. That being said, I found a lot to like about Kyle Cox’s debut album, The Plan, the Mess. The two standout reasons: lyrics and instrumentals.
My first impression about the album was that it would make a great soundtrack to some independent film. In my experience, independent films are well-written, thought -provoking, and emotive. Cox’s album matches these characteristics with songs such as “Sometimes You Know,” “I Found Love,” and “Bring Us To Our Best.”
I enjoyed the album’s overall mellow feel. Songs like “Just What I Need” is perfect for wine drinking, while “I Ain’t Been Lonely, Until I Met You ” strikes a great balance between mellow & upbeat for studying. My favorite song by far is the duet “Honey Let’s Run Away.” I felt like dancing (one of my favorite activities) while listening to the song. I attribute my enjoyment to the song’s strong instrumental combination-predominantly the guitar and piano- and natural sounding vocals (Kyle’s and the female). I say “natural sounding vocals” because on many albums – particularly commercial ones like Britney Spears, Beyonce, etc- the singers’ voices sound computer generated. I appreciated the fact that in this song – and throughout the album- Kyle’s vocals sounded real and raw, almost as if I were hearing him live in the club.
There was one song I didn’t entirely enjoy on Kyle’s album: “You Got that Something”. It felt disjointed at times. The song had great guitar undertone but the instrumentals sometimes overwhelmed the voice. I had a hard time following the song’s pattern, which is critical to the listening experience.
I look forward to seeing how Kyle develops his style in subsequent albums. In the next album, I would like to see Kyle include more upbeat songs. In the meantime, I ‘ll continue to play The Plan, the Mess in my apartment for some great unwinding music.