RATING: 8.5 / 10
Genre: Piano Rock, Pop, Jazz
Songwriting: 8.5 | Music: 9 | Vocals: 8
Location: New York
For fans of: Billy Joel, Burt Bacharach, Elton John, John Mayer
Pianist/singer-songwriter Charley Raiff is like the second coming of greats like Billy Joel and Elton John. I understand this is a bold statement, but after you here Raiff’s album, in Persona, you’ll get why I say this. There are three key elements that each of the previously mentioned legends had that Charley Raiff possesses and they are: awesome songwriting, great piano driven pop rock music, covered by strong vocal performances. Now, I won’t go as far as saying that Raiff is the same as – or better than Joel or John, because they each have a more polished vocal and they’ve both won tons of major music awards and sold millions of copies; things Charley has yet to prove he can do.
in Persona is an amazing nine track album, featuring excellent compositions and songwriting that give Charley Raiff a reason to belt out his signature tenor with all the power he has. The album was produced by Dae Bennett, and features a talented cast of musicians alongside Charley Raiff, including: Nick Dunston (Bass), Connor Parks (Drums), Lee Meadvin (Guitar), Zosha Warpeha (Violin), Danielle Merlis (Cello), and Yotam Ben Or (Harmonica).
I have a number of favorites from this album, so it’s too hard for me to decide which is my favorite. Songs I would recommend checking out are “Change The World”, “Sleeping Through The Daylight”, “Tongues Out” (feat. on episode 134 of The Miews podcast), “Be A Man”, and “Busy Livin Up”. The coolest thing about these songs is the awesome musicianship and fun mood that most of them put you in. Charley Raiff’s music is not likely to become your little sister’s favorite pop ; rather it’s a body of fine art that will resonate with those who possess a refined taste in music. While in Persona may not offer anything that would be deemed Top 40 radio material, it’s absolutely ready for adult contemporary and jazz radio stations.
The project is available on bandcamp.com and you can “name your price” to download it. Check out the video for his song “Tell Me” right here.