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JD Malone & the Experts

Town and Country – 2016 ( Self-released)

Reviewed by Andie Burjek

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CDs by JD Malone & the Experts

J.D. Malone and the Expert's "Town and Country" is a short, sweet charming album of only seven tracks, none of which disappoint. They mesh to create a thoughtful, unassuming album, made up of various genres from lighter, pop-rock ("Courage Under Fire") to dark rock ("Gamma Man") to ballad ("Weight of the World").

Malone's great realm of experience in the music industry is obvious when considering how quietly impressive "Country and Town" is. It doesn't loudly demand your attention- it earns it with a solid musical performance from Malone and his band-mates, The Experts: Avery Coffee, Jim Miades, Tommy Geddes, Nate Gonzalez, Tom Hampton and Michael Ronstadt.

Malone has been creating music professionally for almost 25 years, started with the pop-rock band Steamroller Picnic in 1993. He first connected with The Experts in 2008, with their first EP "Dia de los Muertos."

"Light Was Born," a slow, beautiful thoughtful ballad made up of a series of poetic quartets, is a standout. There's nothing complicated in these verses, in either lyrics or style; they don't try too hard to be deep, edgy or dramatic. The result is a masterful song.

"Weight of the World" accomplishes something similar, as an ode to the good and the bad in the world. "Tragedy is found wherever I'm bound/ Beauty is found wherever I'm bound," Malone sings. There is an air of acceptance and lack of drama in this reality, though. Yes, he feels the weight of the world sometimes, but it doesn't make him angry; it makes him think in what is a truly thoughtful song.

"Gamma Man" closes with an impressive guitar solo that goes on for almost three minutes. The track with the most angst-filled vibe, it's a refreshing change, a pleasing disruption after a string of more homogenous songs. "Gamma Man" effectively shows the range of talent J.D. Malone and The Experts have, to be able to rock the simple, unpretentious songs and the darker, angsty ones.