American singer-songwriter and musician TJ George has just released a new EP. It’s titled Fragmented Soul Vol. 2. But first, for those not yet familiar with the artist in question, a bit o’ background.
According to his official website, Columbus, Ohio-based TJ George has worked with several top ten hitmakers. His solo resume includes three previous releases including his initial audio offering 2010’s Melodic Groove, 2015’s Fragmented Soul: Volume 1, and 2014’s tuneful team-up with Grammy-nominated songwriter, Jasey Schnaars, TJC-One.
TJ George’s signature sound is a mix of music genres. It includes folk, pop, R&B, and blue-eyed soul. George calls it “melodic groove.” His influences include the likes of Christopher Cross, Don Henley, Michael McDonald, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Paul Williams, Stephen Bishop, David Gates, Jonatha Brooke, Marc Cohn, Jude Cole, Shawn Colvin, Randy Goodrum, David Pack, and David Wilcox.
Fragmented Soul Vol. 2
Fragmented Soul Vol. 2 is his follow-up to his previous platter Fragmented Soul Vol.1. It includes six tracks. TJ George leads the way on keys and vocals. (Oddly, he does not credit himself for his vocals.) He is backed by additional artists including Joshua Seurkamp (drums), Byron House (bass), producer Ric Hordinski (guitars), and Shiloh Hawkins (backing vocals).
Track by Track
The CD opens on the soulful “Can’t Move Fast Enough.” It’s a strong rhythmic start but only foreshadows what is to come. The song is retro and quite evocative and has an artistic focus. It features Kenny White on keys.
“Clayton Jones Is Gonna Be Big” effectively follows. Yes, this backstreet song-story includes some clichés. But that’s the point. The song speaks the truth about an artist trying to make it in the industry.
The next number is “Skin.” It’s a sexy, slow wonderfully laid back song regarding relationships told from a poetic yet wonderfully simplistic, sincere make perspective. It’s a perfect slow dance cut for those who still remember how to dance close.
The fourth track is “Gonna Be Good.” It’s an artistic presentation focused on the subject of addiction. No doubt this is one of those songs that has some extra oomph added when performed live. Nevertheless, this polished, radio-ready track deserves attention.
“Cookie Jar” offers up another example of Goerge’s talent as a composer. This is one of those songs that is unfortunately somewhat overshadowed by others due to its placement on the disc. Nevertheless, George’s signature sound and the musical performance remains consistent.
The album endnote is the exceptional “Call Of The Wild.” Deservedly, it’s the lead single off the album. As George told the press, this FM-friendly track was “inspired by eavesdropping on a first date in which the guy was feeding line after line to the doe-eyed girl.” By making this one the closing cut he potentially fulfills two show biz axioms. He has saved the best for last and left the audience wanting more.
Overall . . .
Overall, this album contains all original material that is generally of moderate tempo and is an effective extension of its predecessor. His vocals may not have a strong identifying sound but they don’t need one to make his musical message clear. The songs are focused on several different topics including addiction, love, and relationships, and the human condition in general. In a recent communication, he commented on his purpose in making this record.
He said he wanted to make a follow-up that “was more evolved. A songwriting evolution, a recording evolution, a statement evolution. [This new album] represents the dichotomy in me.
“I was an information technology engineer always trying to solve the puzzle but a singer-songwriter at the core . . . also trying to solve the puzzle. The logical with the emotional. The good with the bad. The now and the later. The this and the that.”
So check out TJ George’s Fragmented Soul Vol. 2 because it’s “Gonna Be Good.”