I’ll get right to the point: this album is wonderful. Richard X. Heyman, the New Jersey-native/guitar legend delivers on every level with this, his tenth solo album, appropriately titled X. The veteran multi-instrumentalist, who began his career with the fabled Doughboys in the ’60’s (and who returned with a stunning album a few years ago) does it all with this 15 track masterpiece. That’s a lot to keep the listener interested and satisfied. His skills as both a musician and DIY-recording artist/producer come to the fore; every great thing about the genre “power pop” can be found and heard in this collection of songs. Quality melody, arrangements, vocals, hooks – it’s all here.
“Please Be Mindful” is a strong, colorful, piano driven piece with spacious echo and a passionate vocal that emits a sweet Springsteen vibe. “Be The One” is Byrds-y, dreamy and a harmony-rich bullseye; “Compass” is garage joy – a thundering, balls-out powerhouse. “Firing Line” is the embodiment of classic power pop – a riff that instantly grabs you with a memorable melody – easily the album’s standout. “Verges On The Day” drifts along on a Turtles-like wave of harmony, a rolling bass and warm; “Hangman Smiles” is the other high point – with its crisp guitar and vocal interplay and a melodic, frenetic bass line – it’s simply glorious.
Again, 15 tracks – all to keep you full and happy from a master; X shines brightly in the Heyman catalog.