Zack Borer
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Zack Borer

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
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"Zack Borer "Home" - Album Review"

When I first got this CD from Doug D. as an album review candidate I was secretly excited – we’ve had some great songs from Zack Borer in the past to play on the Top 10 Unsigned Artist Countdown and now was my chance to see what his full album “Home” had in store for me.

Home is an 11 track album (well 10 tracks, the first track is an intro) that is a real treat if you enjoy an album that will take you all over the place. It takes you to an upbeat high energy place with “Southern Swing” (track 3) and then it slows it all down for you with “Let Me Go” (track 5) – which happens to build up to a great paced track. And “Home” really makes you think with its finale, and title track, “Home”.

Track List:
1. Home (Intro)
2. That’s The Way (Last heard on Week 109)
3. Southern Swing
4. Love Can Grab Ahold
5. Let Me Go
6. Wonder To Discover
7. Amy
8. Every Time I Go
9. Changed Me
10. Enemy
11. Home

Packaging
This is actually one of the cooler parts of the album, it isn’t that often that I get an album to review that has a booklet, and a useful booklet to boot – has the lyrics to each song! Seriously, why do I love the packaging, because I love being able to read the lyrics to the songs – maybe it’s just me, maybe I speak for everyone but I kind of enjoy actually being able to follow along with where the track is going. I don’t like getting albums that either don’t have a booklet or have the most useless booklet of all time. So Zach Borer gets an A+ in my book for the packaging.

The Review
When you first pop Home in to your CD player you are greeted with the “Home (Intro)” which is actually really cool. Normally I’m not a fan of things like that but it really sets kind of a cool mood for the album. “Home” is a piano based intro doodad but again, it works for me.

2. That’s The Way
Truth time, before I reviewed the album I know that I was a fan of this track, it’s catchy, it’s musically correct and the vocals are spot on. How can I describe my feeling going in to this track? It’s like going to get sprinkle donuts, you know you like sprinkle donuts, and the one you just got does not disappoint. “That’s The Way” actually was probably the best bet to start off the album after the Intro which was kind of a slower piano based track. “That’s The Way” brings you back to attention if you started to zone out during the intro…which I’ll admit I normally do during an intro – but not this time. Try to listen to this track and not find yourself humming or singing “Oh oh oh…that’s the way love goes…” Great track, one of my favorites on the album and when you have to come out of an intro swinging Zack absolutely did.

3. Southern Swing
Even Ted Williams made a few outs. I wanted to like this song, starts off fast paced, some cool guitar, some cool vocals but for some reasons I couldn’t get into it. Maybe it was that it took to long to build up, and when it was built up I didn’t care for the music, Zack’s vocals again were on the money, but when you hit us with “That’s The Way” as your first song the next track has a lot to live up to. It didn’t. The lyrics were OK, but after “That’s The Way” OK isn’t going to cut it for me.

4. Love Can Grab Ahold
My first thought was ‘ahold isn’t a word’ but my second thought was this is a cool sounding track, coming out of “Southern Swing” it kind of feels right when the harmonica is mixed in. This track musically is actually pretty darn enjoyable (I know you are probably thinking, “I don’t often find a harmonica enjoyable”…but try it.) It’s fast paced, and musically fun, the vocals are on point as always (that seems to be a common theme here right?) lyrically it’s kind of confusing but I don’t think that this track was meant to be the deepest on the album. It’s a good song.

5. Let Me Go
The album takes a slow turn here after the more up tempo “Southern Swing and “Love can Grab Ahold”. Vocally Zack doesn’t sound like John Mayer, but if there was a song John Mayer was going to jack for his own album it would be this one. It’s a deep track, great vocals, great music, and the lyrics tell a story you want to listen to. An underrated part of this track is the backup vocals by Laya Barak. Very cool song that won’t let you go to sleep on it because of the tempo change ups thrown in. A lot of slower songs stay too slow, “Let Me Go” does not suffer from this problem. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album as well.

6. Wonder To Discover
This is a solid tracks there are some parts of this track where you really think it’s going to be your favorite track on the album, but it has a lot to compete with so to be honest it’s just a solid track for the album. However I’m willing to bet that this track will be a favorite of many because it has a catchy hook with great musical backing. It’s at this point in listening to the album you being to realize that there was actually some thought to the way this album was arranged and some songs just feel like they were in the right spot.

7. Amy
This is a good track again, in my top 5 on the album which is saying a lot. It has a bit of a Jason Mraz vibe to it, I know Zack doesn’t sound like Jason Mraz but you can kind of see Jason Mraz trying to jack this track. Another song with a catchy hook, thanks to the vocal help of Laya Barak and Josh Mendleson. You can see your self just saying “Ohhhhhhhhh bop bop bop…” Yeah, I did, it was stuck in my head. Not a super long track, but enjoyable.

8. Every Time I Go
I like this song, I don’t love it. It again adds to the album as a whole and you feel like if this track wasn’t on the album it wouldn’t feel complete. It’s the type of song that is a little more serious, and you will be glad if you buy the album that have the lyrics. Because to be honest if I didn’t there would be some parts where I would say…what the heck is going on here. This track is another that starts slow and builds up, by this point in the album you’ll being to realize that a lot of songs are like this on the album.

9. Changed Me
This song is a little more soulful than any other track on the album and it’s a nice change up and makes it my favorite track on the album. You have the cool vocals and bass to start the track off then it builds up nicely and breaks down the way you want it to. It’s a very well put together track and sounds a bit different than the other tracks on this album, it’s not 100% different but the small difference make it feel like this the way you want all of Zack’s songs to sound. It’s funny you listen to this track and kind of think, woah, he can do all this vocally, musically, and lyrically why doesn’t he do it all the time? I realize that not every song can be as involving as this but this track really does force his other songs to have to live up to its standards.

10. Enemy
“Enemy”…yeah to be honest I don’t like this track at all. I don’t know what it is about it, probably the fact it had to follow “Changed Me” in the play list. It’s an OK song when taken by itself, but after hearing all of the talents and sounds that Zack has you kind of just feel like this track could have more.

11. Home
This is the title track to the album so when I first hit play on my ol’ Windows Media Player I was expecting big things. I mean I already went through the musical journey that was “Home” now I have to hear what “Home” was all about. And I have to tell you if I didn’t have the lyric book that came with the album I would have been a little bit disappointed, but after looking over the lyrics and listening to the track a few times you find that this is a deep track. The quote that sums up this whole track is “It’s hard to say just when our dreams got pushed aside till tomorrow.” It’s deep. I mean it’s hard to say when you stopped dreaming of being a football player, doctor, world changer or whatever, but eventually you do and this song describes that perfectly. It’s a nice ending to the album because when it stops the album is done and all you are left with is silence to reflect on that.

Scoreboard (All Scores /10)

Packaging – 10
I got a lyric book, and who was on the track. I don’t really care to have anything else in an album book. Plus it came in a Jewel case! Better than the paper sleeve. Presentation does count people.

Arrangement – 8
This score indicates how I feel about the album as a whole and how it was put together. And I have to say I like the flow of the album for the most part. I could have done without “Enemy” being squeezed between 2 of my favorite tracks on the album but I’ll live. This album takes you through a journey, that’s one of the things you miss when you just download one or two .mp3s. You miss the journey that an album can take you on. Zack however did not miss the point and this album was put together very nicely.

Sound Quality – 10
You’d be surprised that we even have this category, but then again you don’t have to listen to 99% of the unsolicited CDs we used to get.

Overall 9/10
I really like this album, I think a lot of our listeners would love this album too. Zack has that acoustic sound that I know some people may not “love” but the truth is that even if you hate everything acoustic or everything that indie rock, pop, whatever has to offer you’ll still find yourself enjoying at least one track on this album.

“Home” is musically, lyrically, and vocally sound. In fact I would say that it’s fairly high quality in each of those regards. I know a lot of unsigned and indie musicians put out some pretty crappy albums with no chance of anyone but their mothers liking the album, but this is not one of those releases. It has a major label sound and sound quality that even the pickiest audiophiles will enjoy.

The point of an album is to take you on a trip, that’s lost on a lot of mainstream artists but not lost here on Zack. You start off with an intro that you may or may not love, I’m not here to score intros, but as you get going on the album the tracks pick up and slow down just enough to keep you paying attention to the lyrics so you have a chance to experience what Zack wants you to experience with home.

I’m not going to give some lameo 40 year old CD reviewer quote about how it was magic and only David Copperfield can make my heart disappear quicker – but I will say that as a 25 year old dude who mostly likes rap music I found it to be one of the most enjoyable full albums that I have heard in a while. And I think that’s exactly what Zack wanted from “Home”.

http://westsidewill.com/newblog/2009/07/23/zack-borer-home-album-review/ - D’Michael Noogeman, Westsidewill- Wild Off The Air (Jul 23, 2009)


"Zack Borer Album Review"

On the surface Zack Borer’s album Home is built firmly on the foundation of a man and his guitar. Borer musically works through the adventures of life involving breakdowns and victories with his own self-explorative mirror and folk, and soulful nicely crafted guitar strumming. At times, with hand-clapping uplifting jams to much harder edged arguments and ponderings, Borer uses his guitar as both a weapon and an extension of self. It is easy to hear his passion but harder to label his sound, it could easily be pop, soul or country. He writes with such a self-righteous efficiency one feels the therapy in Borer’s self-contained songs. Based out of New York City, it is clear Borer is a powerful singer/songwriter. His accessibility is also a gift. At times sort of a single man’s version of Matchbox Twenty or Rusted Root, Borer has a natural, unforced earthy dynamic. “Enemy” is a nice bouncy pop anthem that travels, literally and speaks to his desire to break from stagnation to survive. The beauty of Home reaches the experiences of many and this is Borer’s gift. The way he speaks to his convictions and failures so that it relates to everyone make the album relatable and impressive.

http://www.shortandsweetnyc.com/search/label/Music%20Reviews - Short and Sweet NYC


"NYC Singer and Songwriter Zack Borer’s 'That’s The Way' Preloaded on the Google Nexus One"

NYC musician, zAck borer's song "That's The Way" comes preloaded on the new Google™ Nexus One device. The full song is made available for unlimited plays and offers listeners discovery options via click through links to iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube.

Singer/songwriter, zAck borer has big plans for 2010 and he’s not wasting any time. To kick off the new decade with a bang, zAck’s song “That’s The Way” is preloaded on the Google Nexus One, the latest android smartphone. zAck’s song was one of thirteen total tracks selected to come preloaded on every Google Nexus One device and can be accessed by clicking on the ‘music’ button from the main splash screen. Users who like what they hear are able to discover more music from zAck by clicking on the links to iTunes and Amazon made available within the player or are presented the option of clicking through to YouTube to watch video of zAck.

Mixing rock, pop, funk, and soul, Canadian-born zAck borer, often recognized by his big hair, has been creating quite the buzz in New York City over the past year. Compared to Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, the 27 year old has taken the traditional singer/songwriter sound and fused it with an explosive live band featuring some of New York City's most talented musicians. Highlights from 2009 include side stage performances at the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach for Dave Matthews Band and Jason Mraz, and being named a Top 5 finalist in the MTV VMA’s “Best Breakout Artist in NYC” competition. zAck also has a desire to use his music for good and in 2009 became an official Lifebeat “Hearts & Voices” artist performing for HIV-positive patients all over the city. In addition, zAck took part in the global awareness campaign, “Movember”, himself growing a moustache, donating proceeds from his shows, and generating awareness for men’s health during the month of November. - Newswire Today


"Zack Borer at Sullivan Hall: the belated review"

After reading Zack Borer's press clippings, I attended his EP release party at Sullivan Hall with some trepidation since he is often likened to John Mayer and Jason Mraz, two of my least favorite artists of all time (fans of the aforementioned, please insert boos and jeers here). Yet, I found myself rooting for Borer, and sincerely wanting him to not only put on a great show, but to somehow get signed, earn millions and win a grammy.

Why? Simply put, the man has passion. Each song, good or bad, is catapulted to a listenable realm because of his genuine enthusiasm for the piece. He believes in his work, and has a desire to deliver something original and engaging to a demanding audience. The only question: is Borer's product strikingly original or painfully redundant?

Zack Borer, singing his heart out (photo by Alanna Romeo).

After recruiting a slew of talented musicians, Borer has spent the last few months tweaking a heavily touted live show. And as much as Borer claims to have distanced himself from the standard singer/songwriter format, its structure is something that he clearly relies on when penning a tune.

Borer spent most of the night promoting his EP, Dollars Spent on Nothing, which features five original tracks. The sound, for the most part, meets the industry standard by: embracing emotive lyrics that tug at all the right heartstrings; relying on arrangements that are sonically precise and energetic; promoting Borer's pitch-perfec voice; giving credit to a rhythm section with great time and making sure guitarist Craig Magnano, whose clean riffs alone justify the price of admission, is consistently placed in the center ring. Yet, even with all these positives, the show lacked something: definition. Borer is quick to highlight bands he's been compared to, probably because each one has been so influential. But a comparison doesn't define a sound, it simply gives an artist a starting point, which is exactly where Borer is.

It's too early in his career to expect a groundbreaking, genre-bending opus, but to his credit, he is clearly beginning to carve out paths that could catalyze such expectations. The song "Here and There", for instance, is littered with blues and reggae influences, and even a touch of funk, while Borer inserts an equally gritty and soulful flair to his vocals. The eclectic mix works, and produces an energy that parallels the most experienced of live acts.

"Save Me", which was one of the best in the set, takes on the pathos framework that lures in so many female fans, yet Borer's husky voice and heavily strummed rhythm provide this archetype with a masculine tone. In other words, dudes won't have to label this ballad as a guilty pleasure, and there were many bros in the audience whose physiognomies revealed a sincere, albeit brief, emotional connection to the piece.

Other songs, however, failed to experiment with other musical arenas, like blues or funk, and illustrated Borer's preference for the safety of formulaic crowd-pleasers.

The show was a good one. Borer has a natural comfort on stage and is quite likable once he starts talking to the audience (which he should do more often). One can only hope that he follows the instincts that led him toward the rocking worlds of funk, and ignores the siren call of the mainstream singer/songwriter. For if Borer continues to experiment, he will eventually define his sound, and success will become an inevitability. - Examiner.com


"Zack Borer Rocks Big Natural Curls Plus Fabulous Sound"

Who is Zack Borer? Besides pulling off an amazingly unique look, defined by Zack’s management team as “a curly ‘jew-fro’ style.

Note: To read more about Zack and to list to his music visit: http://www.zackborer.com and http://www.youtube.com/zackborer

I agree there aren’t many people who’d be able to pull off Zack’s edgy truly unique style. His big hair “look” is just a small reason for the building buzz in New York City about the wildly talented musician.

(Image of Zack Borer - Courtesy of Zack Borer - All Rights Reserved)

Compared to Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, the 27 year old has taken the traditional singer/songwriter sound and fused it with an explosive live band featuring some of New York City’s most talented musicians.

Highlights from 2009 include side stage performances at the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach for Dave Matthews Band and Jason Mraz, and being named a Top 5 finalist in the MTV VMA’s “Best Breakout Artist in NYC” competition.

Zack also has a desire to use his music for good and in 2009 became an official Lifebeat “Hearts & Voices” artist performing for HIV-positive patients all over the city.

In addition, Zack took part in the global awareness campaign, “Movember”, himself growing a moustache, donating proceeds from his shows, and generating awareness for men’s health during the month of November.

(Image of Zack Borer - Courtesy of Zack Borer - Credit: Gavin Thomas Photography gavinthomasphoto.com - All Rights Reserved)

Zack recently finished recording his new EP “Dollars Spent On Nothing” which includes the hit single “45 Days”.

Note: You can download Zack’s new EP at iTunes at: http://bit.ly/c7Wqrr

Zack said “my songs are being taken to an entirely new level with my band. It’s amazing to see their interpretation of the tunes, and is adding tremendous depth and musicianship to very personal experiences of mine.”

Watch for Zack’s career to continue to skyrocket into the upper stratosphere of music.

More Information

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(Image of Zack Borer - Courtesy of Zack Borer - All Rights Reserved)

Thank you for visiting us at The HairBoutique Blog and for leaving your comments. They are very much appreciated. We apologize in advance but must remove any direct advertisements or solicitations. - http://blogs.hairboutique.com


"Unsigned Artist Spotlight: Zack Borer"

Saturday, May 30, 2009
Unsigned Artist Spotlight: Zack Borer
To prove that we are dedicated to bringing you only the best in music, we are going to do you a tremendous favor and introduce you to Zack Borer, an amazingly talented, unsigned, 25 year old artist out of New York City. It is impossible to listen to his song “That’s The Way” or any song of his for that matter, and not become an instant fan! (Listen to his songs here! Videos are below!) We scored an interview with the man himself, check it out below:

http://eardrumkrushez.blogspot.com/2009/05/unsigned-artist-spotlight-zack-borer.html - Eardrum Krushez


"Featured Artist: Zack Borer"

Multi instrumentalist Zack Borer’s laid back melodic style and superb voice are guaranteed to stir something within. Hailing from New York, Zack brings numerous influences into his subtle, incredibly musical form of acoustic pop folk. His well structured songs are filled with emotion and delivered with real style and passion. We recently tracked him down and asked him about life and music in the Big Apple.

Full interview:
http://www.digitalgig.co.uk/zack-borer_issue-4_page-1.html - Digital Gig Magazine


Discography

Dollars Spent On Nothing (EP) May 2010
A Singer (EP) released digitally Dec 2009
"Save Me" (single) released digitally Dec 2008
Home (LP) released 2005

Photos

Bio

Mixing rock, pop, funk, and soul, Canadian-born zAck borer, often recognized by his big hair, has been creating quite the buzz in New York City over the past year. Compared to Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, the 27 year old has taken the traditional singer/songwriter sound and fused it with an explosive live band featuring some of New York City's most talented musicians. Highlights from 2009 include side stage performances at the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach for Dave Matthews Band and Jason Mraz, and being named a Top 5 finalist in the MTV VMA’s “Best Breakout Artist in NYC” competition. zAck also has a desire to use his music for good and in 2009 became an official Lifebeat “Hearts & Voices” artist performing for HIV-positive patients all over the city. In addition, zAck took part in the global awareness campaign, “Movember”, himself growing a moustache, donating proceeds from his shows, and generating awareness for men’s health during the month of November. zAck is currently writing and recording his new album, due out in early 2010, and is receiving amazing feedback on his new material to packed houses. "My songs are being taken to an entirely new level with my band. It's amazing to see their interpretation of the tunes, and is adding tremendous depth and musicianship to very personal experiences of mine."