Hugh Wilson
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Hugh Wilson

Band Christian Singer/Songwriter

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From INXS to the Church to Midnight Oil to the Go-Betweens, Australia has produced almost as many classic artists as England. Whenever I receive a CD from Australian artist, there’s more than a 50% chance that it’ll be an entertaining listen. Sure enough, Australian singer/songwriter Hugh Wilson’s album Unidirectional doesn’t disappoint. Raised on ‘80s Australian icons such as INXS and Icehouse, Wilson brings the pop-powered radio hooks of that era into the new millennium. Now Wilson doesn’t sound like an ‘80s musician; don’t expect a retro rocker a la Franz Ferdinand or She Wants Revenge. However, the emotionally unrestrained singing; the large, open choruses; and the ringing, summertime guitars have roots in the Reagan years.

Stylistically, as far as contemporary artists go, Wilson can be placed alongside the MOR likes of Maroon 5, Train, and Dishwalla; in other words, this is safe mainstream rock that is simply made for dates or vacation road trips. Wilson’s target isn’t the cutting edge; instead, he reels in U2’s more accessible characteristics, namely their arena-sweeping love songs. On “Here We Go,” Wilson echoes Bono with those massive, toe-tapping harmonies. Even better is “I Still Want You,” wherein Wilson reigns his voice in, allowing more of his cool accent to take center stage.

Produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Wilson himself, Unidirectional doesn’t have the excesses you’d expect from a project wherein the artist had complete control. It remains faithful to its goal of being a terrific pop LP - nothing more, nothing less.

http://cdreviews.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1566&Itemid=27 - Written by Michael Sutton


Give singer/songwriter Hugh Wilson (http://www.hughwilson.org) credit for not sounding like his Australian peers. Although when he deepens his voice, like on "She's a Sun" and "I Still Want You," he somewhat resembles Iva Davies of Icehouse in their late '80s glory, Wilson's style owes little to his compatriots. Australia has a rich history of great pop, from the Easybeats to INXS, but outside of Ireland's pride and joy, U2, Wilson's influences seem very American.

The U2 inspiration is obvious on "Please Come Back Soon," which has an arena-sized chorus that would make Bono smile. "Please Come Back Soon" features Wilson's best vocals, soaring and passionate. You can really feel his emotions through your skin. "She's a Sun" is an immediate hit, an upbeat love song that sticks in the brain.

As with most mainstream pop, this is not a record made with music critics in the mind. This is mass-appeal rock, and it takes an open mind, straying from the reviewer consensus that music has to be challenging or innovative to matter, to appreciate such simplicity. Lyrically and musically, Wilson is staying within his strengths, and much of that involves in appealing to the everyday radio listener. From that standpoint, he succeeds. "Steal A Heart" is just as moving as any Maroon 5 or Train track - and it doesn't ask or try for anything more. The grey-haired scribes will shake their heads, but the little girls will understand.
author: Adam Harrington

http://www.whisperinandhollerin.com/reviews/review.asp?id=4209 - Whisperin and Hollerin - Adam Harrington


Discography

Hugh Wilson - Into Light
Science For Girls - "Sleepwatching" (song off self titled album)
Hugh Wilson - Unidirectional
Radiate - Radiate
Brooklyn Social - Brooklyn Social (unreleased)
Vertigo - "Forever Lately" (single)
Vertigo - "Human Need" (single)
Hugh Wilson - Iliad

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Bio

From a semi-nomadic childhood in the Australian desert, to winning Star Search
and touring with Lenny Kravitz, Hugh Wilson still covers the territory, with what a
critic called "the voice of an angel and the stage presence that hails from the dark side"

Born to an Anglican minister and a nurse from Tanzania,
Hugh spent his early years moving between churches in remote parts of Australia
before moving to Sydney. Hugh learned the trumpet, sang boy-soprano in church
choirs, and shockingly for an Australian, chose singing in a school musical over
state track meets.

At 19, Hugh won the male vocal category of "Star Search", in Australia as the U.S., a nationally televised viewer-voted talent competition. Hugh was immediately scooped up by one of Australia's premiere management companies, and recorded “Illiad,” a critically praised debut on Polydor Records.

There followed several recordings with his brother Derek, and guitarist Michael Dolce, with their bands "The Blue Phoenix", "Drowning Jester", and "King Luan"; as well as recording "Gnome" with jazz saxophonist Spike Mason.

He also developed as a producer/engineer working with artists such as
Sarah Blasko, Katie Prior, Luke Pittman, T J Eckleberg and Christian
acts Receiver, Prayerworks, Melanie Cooke, and David Holmes.

Hugh later teamed up with the Leigh brothers of Pseudo Echo to form the band,
Vertigo, and enjoyed a brief stay in the Australian charts.

Alongside all this Hugh was an in-demand session vocalist, singing
literally hundreds of Australian and Asian commercials.

In 2000 Hugh left Australian shores for Europe, Singapore and the USA.
Teaming up with Mark Moffatt in Nashville and co-producing Nemesis
Rising's Joshua and Jacob Miller.

A move to New York resulted in breaking into the New York commercial
scene as a session vocalist, while becoming a Worship Pastor for
Christian City Church Manhattan, and producing "Peace", "Radiate",
"C3USA" and Steve Deal's "Edge of The Ocean" & Cure for Gravity" CDs
within the C3 movement, as well as writing/recording with Maria
Christensen, Tommy Zano, Sovory, Blu Sanders, Willamerika, Ben Butler,
Paul Colman, Ryan Truso, Alex Forbes and Tracee Beazer with many
projects still in the pipeline.

In 2004 he and Sanders wrote songs for an
independent release, "Unidirectional." And in 2005-06 Hugh joined Lenny
Kravitz's band as a vocalist for a US tour with Aerosmith.

A frontman again, in September Hugh released a contemporary Christian
CD "Into Light" and has teamed up with his lovely wife Anne, talented jazz
bassist Mark Lau, and drummer Mike Flaherty for live shows.

~ Seth Amgott ~