By: Bill Clifford
Big Head Todd and the Monsters is the most recent band to offer its newest CD to fans for free. What began as a website-based mailing list promotion, where fans who signed up in December were mailed a free copy, has mushroomed to include several radio stations' mailing lists with over half a million copies going out nationwide. Released from its contractual obligations, the free distribution of All The Love You Need is meant as a marketing tool to get the music played on the radio, something that hasn't happened for this band in over ten years.
The disc includes the 2005 single "Blue Sky," written at the request of the astronauts of the Shuttle Discovery, the first shuttle mission since the Columbia disaster and more recently chosen by Hillary Clinton as a campaign song. In conjunction with Boulder Colorado based Crocs shoe company, the CD is now available via a free download here
The band's sound hasn't veered in 20 years: blues based and guitar heavy, AOR rock. Opener "Her Own Kinda Woman" retains that sound with deeply resonating electric guitar and bass, as well as Todd Park Mohr's smoky rasp, all drenched in horns and layered keys. Several other songs, namely "Cashbox," "Spanish Highway" and closer "Beautiful Rain," follow the same radio friendly formula.
But the band also has a great sense of pop song craft, which remains intact here. The lead single, "Cruel Fate," combines backing harmonies and sweeping steel guitar with melodic electric guitar and rolling bass on a sing-a-long about laying blame for failed aspirations. The acoustic title track features the swaying keys of Jeremy Lawton, a full-time Monster since 2004, as well as Mohr's most sultry vocals since the Sister Sweetly album. An elegant, lush string section backs Mohr on "How Easy," one of the finest ballads he's written. "Under A Silvery Moon" has a country lilt, with pedal steel atop acoustic and electric guitars. Longtime fans will be pleased with Mohr's guitar, both his trademark cutting solos as well as his melodic, dulcet tone, remain front and center.
Big Head Todd and the Monsters aim to put All The Love You Need in the hands of new fans in a way that may help diversify how music is distributed in the near future.
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