Review: Tony Romanello

Tony Romanello
“Counting Stars””
(Engine Shed Records)

It seems the Frog Queen Jeremy Enigk has been dethroned.  The former Murmur front man Tony Romanello has really outdone himself with this album, but don’t let the name fool you because Tony gets plenty of help.  Most of these songs have an orchestral feeling because of the strings and horns which come in the form of piano, cello, viola, violin, sax, trumpet, and trombone.  Tony’s arrangements of the songs are immaculate and beautiful on so many different levels.

On the surface is a pop wonderland of catchy interludes and amazing vocal ability, but if you are willing to fully download the whole album you will find extremely complete songs with deep and meaningful lyrical themes.  “counting stars” frequently changes gears from a purely pop stripped down acoustic song to a very grungy Murmur type of song, but definitely is careful not to steer too far off course.  Most notable are the tracks “an insomniac’s diary”, “finally found”, and “why reminisce”.  The slide guitar in “why reminisce” sends chills down my spine just like good music should.  This guy really wants to identify with his listeners and his unabashed form of getting his point across makes him the new frog queen.  My hat is off.