Artist: Roger Street Friedman
Album: Shoot the Moon
Label: Self Released
Release Date: 01/13/2017
Although Roger Street Friedman resides well below the radar, the music he makes offers all the ingredients necessary for mainstream success. While it’s hard to apply an exact comparison to his easily accessible sound, suffice it to say that James Taylor, Randy Newman and Jackson Browne all come to mind. Still, it’s Friedman’s apparent desire to defy definition that’s most apparent here; while album opener “Puffs of Smoke” offers the impression he’s leaning towards the blues, “Shoot the Moon” steers him towards R&B, just as a tender cover of John Prine’s “Paradise” suggests he’s under the Americana influence. The rest of the set falls somewhere in-between, although the soft rock firmament remains mostly intact.
All in all, Shoot the Moon comes across as effortlessly engaging, the kind of thing that once provided the core of the Top 40 as well as easy listening radio — all pleasant, appealing melodies purveyed with a solid yet sympathetic touch. Such a style may seem somewhat passé these days, given the need for gimmickry and theatrics, but Friedman’s on firm footing regardless. It’s the sound of serendipity, fully fleshed out and inspired.