Volume 90, Issue 68

Friday, January 24, 1997

Value Village


Simplistic and painful

Victor Crowl
The Healing
Smile Productions

President, manager, singer, songwriter, performer, dancer, actor, lecturer, mentor, screenwriter, editor and filmmaker. This daunting list is not Quincy Jones' curriculum vitae. Instead, the list describes the Toronto artist known as Victor Crowl.

Crowl's efforts show his aversion to shying away from any sort of artistic impression. His second album, The Healing, illustrates Crowl's ability to dabble in several genres. The mountains of literature accompanying the release outline Crowl's impressive accomplishments and depict his style as "an eclectic mix of urban contemporary pop with a hint of jazz and folk."

This description fares well in our culture's love for classifying musical ideas. However, an easier reference point may be to return to the 1980s. Crowl's use of electronic drums, studio effects and polished sounds is reminiscent of music that was made in the widely-embraced decade.

Although, the CD features clever guest Torontonians such as Graeme Kirkland and Kurt Swinghammer, the music lacks cleverness. The only exception may be the opening to the first single, "Dragon Slayer," which features some screeching violins.

Generally, the lyrical content seems radio-friendly and unbelievably simplistic. For example, the track "Love Only Love" explains, "Love, only love/ I believe in you and all that you can do/ Love, only love/ How I trust in you and nothing else will do."

Crowl's strength lies in his voice which seems to be versatile in providing backup and lead vocals. Hopefully he will not add the designation of 'rapper' to his list of positions, since his attempt falls short of being believable at certain times.

–Jordan Mitchell

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997