Shades of Red
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Shades of Red

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Shades of Red "Absolution" by Rhonda Readance"

Shades of Red is a band hailing from the music-laden Pacific Northwest, the same area that brought the world Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains. While the musical endeavors of this collective are not in the same genre as the bands cited above, they still carry the essence of that special part of the world. Offering soft alternative rock with wonderful acoustic guitar, Absolution has a vibrancy to it that is akin to watching the setting sun glinting off the waters of the Puget Sound.

The album begins with “Dotted Line,” a snappy number with an agreeable rhythm and wonderful vocals. Natalie Merchant may come to mind with regards to the vocals, but it quickly becomes evident that this band has an original sound that is quite unlike anything on the airwaves today. The lyrics are well-written and thoughtful, and the instrumentation is likewise exceptional. “Perfection” begins with a snazzy jazz-like beat and the sound is very well produced. The vocals are delivered with easy confidence, accompanied by professional instrumentation that carries the song effortlessly. There is some nice harmonizing going on and listeners will begin to appreciate this band’s artistic presence as this piece unfolds. “Bowl of Seconds” begins with the sound of conversation, as if the song is taking place in a crowded restaurant. With a Fleetwood Mac vibe and a fantastic sound, this track has rhythm and attitude.

“Southbound Train” has a melancholy essence and will work itself into the depths of the heart. The haunting are the perfect touch and the lyrics thoughtfully tell a story of chance meeting. This piece boasts some of the best musicianship on the album. “America” has a funky beat, and the vocals are smooth and seductive. Precise guitar work holds listeners captive here. The sound quality allows the vocals to sound a bit distant while the instruments are the focal point, which is majestically done without sacrificing the overall quality.

Absolution meanders on with “Chained,” a melodic bluesy piece with excellent vocal harmonizing and the best guitar work we’ve heard yet. The vocals are sexy, sultry and smoky. This track highlights the smooth precision of this band and this is a polished, professional piece of music with spot on vocals and intricate instrumentation. “The Wave” contains lyrics that carry an edge and capture the attention. The sound quality in this piece could be tweaked, as the cowbell seems to attract more attention than is needed and the vocals sound slightly tinny, but aside from that, this is a solid track that listeners will find intriguing and enjoyable. “Sixty Candles” is mellow with a touch of sass in the exquisitely played blues guitar licks. The vocals are softly delivered with candid honesty and emotion. “Dream 99” begins with gracefully played acoustic guitar and vocals that may emulate Jewel from time to time. As is the standard form for this band, this piece flows smoothly and elegantly with beautifully written lyrics and masterful musicianship.

“Courtney’s Room” is a wonderfully melodic piece that could almost be a lullaby. With lyrics that tell the painful story of Courtney and instrumentation that is flawless and graceful, this track is exceptionally well-composed with skilled engineering and production. Absolution closes with the album’s title track, which begins dramatically with strong piano work and an up-tempo rhythm that carries a sense of hope and optimism. Shades of Red have succeeded in creating an album that showcases their abundance of talent with lyrically sound pieces, polished musicianship, and beautiful vocals. There isn’t much more one could ask from a band, and Shades of Red have given us a soothing escape from the harsh realities of life with Absolution.

Review by Rhonda Readence
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5) - Review You CD Reviews

"Shades of Red "Absolution" by Heath Andrews"

Absolution, besides being the title of Shades Of Red’s new album, is also the name given to the religious concept of seeking penance, and the complete forgiveness of one’s sins. If this pop/rock trio are seeking absolution, they’re not going to find it, as they’ve done no wrong. Based out of Seattle, Shades of Red have little in common with their Seattle Grunge brethren. They actually have little in common with a great deal of bands, possessing a uniquely hard, yet melodic sound. To come up with a comparison to the sound of Shades Of Red would be to combine the bass work of Level 42, the vocals of Natalie Merchant, the power of The Who, and the polish and smoothness of Simply Red. It’s an odd amalgamation, but one that results in a spectacular sound.

At its core, Shades of Red consists of lead vocalist Solveig Whittle, drummer and bassist, Stevie Adamek, and guitarist and keyboardist Jack Brand. Various musicians also lend their talents to the album, mostly contributing lead guitar to various tracks in glorious fashion. The album’s opener, “Dotted Line,” quickly establishes the album’s general sound. Whittle’s vocals are pitch-perfect and delivered with emotion and power. Adding to Whittle’s track are some wonderful backing vocals that come out during the chorus, emphasizing the song’s hook. Beyond the vocals, Adamek plays a heavy, throbbing bass line, pushing the song forward just as much as his exemplary drumming. Brand’s rhythm guitar helps solidify the song, and his keyboard playing adds texture and atmosphere.

In a perfect example of, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” Shades of Red utilize this formula for a majority of the album. The second track, “Perfection,” is a bit more subdued, but the bass still chugs along like a steam engine, full of energy and driving force. Most of the song’s melody comes from Brand’s keyboards, which also account for the song’s more gentle nature. In a complete turnaround, “Bowl Of Seconds” is the hardest driving and most exceptional track recorded by the group. Adamek wails on the drum with precision fury and treats his bass the same way. Whittle rattles off lyrics at a quick pace, “It’s hard to talk to you when words become like weapons/You tally up your wins like this is war/You drown your sorrows in your bowl of seconds/And push the envelope of love too far.” The other verses continue to illustrate the destructive relationship the song’s narrator finds herself in, and Whittle sings them with just the right mix of bitterness, yearning, and desperation.

“The Wave,” featured on the album’s second half, is another similarly intense song in terms of Whittle’s delivery and the rest of the band’s musicianship. One of the key differences is the substitution of keyboards for the hard rhythm guitar throughout most of the song, but even then the song builds up to close with it. Whittle’s lyrics are just as strong here if not better and more revealing into the mind of the singer, “From empty rooms we never use/The memories we hide/ The unnamed things, like puppet strings/Control us from inside.”

The rest of the second half of Absolution is mellower than the first half. The two closing tracks, “Courtney’s Room” and the title-track still feature Adamek’s growling bass, but Whittle tones down her delivery and Brand’s guitars are more acoustic and keyboards more integral to the arrangement. The band has no problem at all shifting their sound, and it’s this versatility that makes the overall album so strong. There are many wonderful moments to be had with Shades of Red, from the scathing and rocking “America” to the achingly haunting “Sixty Candles.” Absolution is a uniquely rocking and smooth record that commits no musical sin, and everyone should be granted.

Review by Heath Andrews
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5) - Review You CD Reviews


"December Sunday" - 2008
"Absolution" - 2011



After the release of their first CD, Shades of Red partnered with one of Seattle premier producers, Stevie Adamek, to give birth to a new sound for their second CD, "Absolution". Shades of Red has played the local Northwest circuit for a few years, but the reviews coming in for Absolution indicate that they are the verge of a new level of popularity. With Adamek on drums, Solveig Whittle on vocals and Jack Brand on keys making up the core of Shades of Red, several guest artists (including Roger Fisher of Heart) contributed to the new CD.