This guy sounds like he loves The Traveling Wilburys. And considering he recorded his latest album at Abbey Road, he is without a doubt a Beatles aficionado who wishes to have been Pete Best’s best friend. After all, who wouldn’t take that once in a lifetime opportunity?
“As an avid Beatles’ enthusiast, the opportunity of recording in that iconic room, in that historic building, was beyond my wildest imagination. It has an energy that captivates the soul and inspires the ultimate artistry possible. It was my honor, and the experience of a lifetime, to have recorded there.”
Wayne Merdinger has talent and though some songs are much, much, MUCH better than others on Hidden Gems, this is a project that takes creative gambles and often times succeeds. The opener is solid, not too memorable, despite being the title track, conjuring memories of long forgotten friends and doing your best day by day.
Take a listen for yourself below.
The second song here, named “Lose to Gain,” purposefully puts Wayne out of key at points, which on first listen might be a head-scratcher for your ears, but it is his Wild Honey Pie. Some moments in life do not fit into your vision and old memories sometimes must be let go for future dreams to move forward. You must lose something or someone in order to gain another.
However, Wayne brings the heat and securely finds his footing on the fourth track, “Missing You.” The mix is terrific, the guitar shining as bright as his vocals, and with his own Bowie Starman twist, Merdinger delivers his best song yet. Definitely worth a couple listens… it is down right catchy at certain points.
Though I love “Missing You,” the rest of Hidden Gems is a buffet of immovable and less than memorable ballads, taking away from the creative gamble “Lose to Gain” slickly contains. The next track “American Dream” is exactly the kind of song a devout Beatleshead would put together, sounding like a b-side to a cover album of Ringo songs by way of wannabe Lennon that not even Yoko would wish to release for the easy peasy cash grab.
Though repetitive at points, Wayne Merdinger’s Hidden Gems flourishes by being the exact album he wanted to release. It just isn’t Abbey Road… sounds more like Regent’s Park to me.