Arthur Kall- Notes in Neon

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, April 25, 2010

Arthur Kall is one of the latest singer/songwriters trying to make a name for himself, and on his latest effort Notes in Neon Kall reveals himself to be a cross between your average acoustic pop artist and soft rock artist. But while he has a stunning voice, the songs on this effort just don’t do anything that stands out and because of this Notes in Neon doesn’t have much of a lasting impact.

Before we get into what’s wrong with this effort, let’s discuss what Arthur Kall has working in his favor. For one thing, his voice is very smooth and laid back which gives his material that instant chill factor that a lot of people look for in music these days. In addition to this, Kall writes songs that are relatable and listeners who are able to get into the material will definitely find that the themes seem realistic. However, there are a couple of times where the vocals sound as though they were run through an electronic filter (like you hear in mainstream hip hop) and while this isn’t terrible it seems strange that Kall would do this when he has a great voice to work with.

Unfortunately, the instrumentals don’t stand out nearly as much as the vocals do. The majority of Notes in Neon consists of acoustic guitar work that fit right into the traditional pop rock style. There are some slightly heavier moments on the song “Can’t Stop” which features the hip hop artist Underground Realroad but the riff on this track is fairly basic. While I understand that a lot of singer/songwriters these days are focused almost entirely on acoustic material, Kall’s problem is that the melodies he has written sound almost exactly like everything else out there. Once you finish listening to the album, chances are that you won’t remember all that much about it and this lack of memorable ideas hurts Kall quite a bit.

Notes in Neon isn’t a bad album, and it is clear that Arthur Kall has a decent level of skill when it comes to the guitar. However, there just isn’t anything about this album that really stands out or differentiates itself from everything else out there and because of this listeners probably won’t find themselves going back to this effort once they’ve given it a shot. Maybe in the future he will break out of the pack, but as of right now Arthur Kall is stuck right in the middle of it.

Leave a Reply