Written By Simon Chisholm
Evan Taubenfeld kicked off his career as a band member, and co-writer for a few songs, for Avril Lavigne. In recent years however, he has been working as a producer and writer for other pop acts, as well as building up his own repertoire. ‘Welcome To The Blacklist Club’ is his debut solo album.
‘Welcome To The Blacklist Club’ is essentially radio friendly pop-rock aimed at the teeny demographic. Evan has written hard hitting, easy to sing along tracks. He has written songs about love, loss and relationships. Evan said during an interview that the overall theme of the album was a character wanting to fall in love.
“[Welcome to the Blacklist Club] is about being a hopeless romantic trapped under a cinnamon-coated shell that is L.A., I think your outside hardens when you live out here. Most people don’t express how much they want to fall in love. For me, half the album is about being able to expose that. The other half…is more about having fun.”
The tracks are not virtuosic, but are feel good pop fun. Evan has used some creative and interesting instrumentation arrangements. The many layered sounds He has used give each track a ‘big’ sound. Some of the identifiable layers include: Main vocal, vocal harmony, lead and rhythm guitars, synthesizers, electronic elements, glockenspiel, piano and strings. The instrumentation and the vocals compliment each other. Together they provides a feel that backs up the overall tone of each track.
Throughout each track, the sections vary, meaning repetition of verses doesn’t get tired. An example of this variation is adding or taking away a particular instrument, or even using a different amount of syllables in each line.
Taubenfeld’s rock influence shows. There are songs that feature guitar solos, which I am very happy about. Evan, as an accomplished guitarist, deserves to show of his skills. Evan also makes creative use of guitar effects (to set tone), guitar leads, and guitar riffs. He shows his punk rock roots through classic harmonic progressions.
My favourite tracks include ‘Razorblade Limeade’ (for the guitar work and harmonies) and ‘Evan Way’ ( for the neat dramatic, contrasting build-up section).
I feel that the tracks on the second half of the album stand out more than those in the beginning.
It’s a shame that Warner Brothers dropped him from the label as this album shows extreme potential. Although this does free him up to co-write and produce other acts (recently on Black Cards).
Released in May 2010 by Sire Records. Produced by John Fields.