Mark Mallman
The Red Bedroom CD - Guilt Ridden Pop

From everything I’ve read in press kits and local paper reviews, this is supposed to be some sort of thematic record, like a rock opera or something, but I’m too dense to really see it. True, there is a sort of connective theme of streets and poverty and selling one’s soul, but the songs are different enough from each other - ranging from rock songs to beautiful, heart-wrenching piano ballads, that they still feel like an album of songs, and not some big, grand concept piece. By themselves, though, these songs are good and stand alone just as well as they could as a big whole Jesus Christ Superstar-thing - Mallman writes and sings big, dramatic, Queen-style orchestrations, full of fabulous sweeping guitar fills and jangly keyboards, all propelled on by his plaintive lyrics demanding justification for his faith in love, humanity, and the world in general. This is a bit more serious than Mallman’s previous work, and perhaps a step closer to commercialism, which I’m not fond of, but still, a damned good record that showcases the work of a really talented and enduring performer. (Holly Day)



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