I popped the first CD, “A Thousand Times” by Rob Frommel, into my car’s CD player on my drive back to Kansas City expecting the worst.
You’ve certainly heard the worthwhile statement “Don’t judge a book by its cover” in attempts to negate one’s shallowness.
But in all actuality, I knew nothing about Frommel as a musician, so my first impression was solely based on the album artwork and picture posted on the back of the album.
Because he was wearing a flannel shirt and sporting long hair with a middle part, I was initially skeptical. But it is entirely true that someone’s appearance does not solely define them.
Whatever initial negative impression I had was quickly asphyxiated.
I listened through the first two tracks without a single cringe, and by the time I reached track four, I figured the only thing Frommel could do to ruin the rest of his album was to continuously sing out of key or to arrange a cacophony amongst the guitars. He did neither of these things, thankfully.
Frommel is your typical rock or alternative rock musician. He has a pleasant voice; never annoying, never out of key, and though his voice may not be particularly unique, it is satisfying.
There are some interesting guitar lines, but he works mostly with acoustic. The drum patterns aren’t particularly incredible or complex, but this genre of music doesn’t necessarily warrant intense drum fills.
He even incorporates saxophone into the track “Apple,” an interesting contrast to the typical acoustic drawl.
Frommel tries for a heavier rock feel in “Disconcerting,” which exemplifies his versatility as a musician, but this particular track did not fit my taste.
I will admit I have diverse taste in music, as long as it contains some musical merit, but the genre of rock he aspired to create on this track was reminiscent of Nickelback, or Creed, if they obtained a halfway competent vocalist.
Frommel receives a second strike for “Carry On,” which mimics the same generic rock band style.
If that’s a genre that particularly appeals to you, I urge you to preview the album. It’s an album that at least deserves a listen to see if it fits your taste.