If you’re into finger-snappin’, toe-tappin’ songs with super strong melodies & harmonies, then ‘Collamer Circle’ by Justin Levinson is your ticket! Justin Levinson is a Vermont-based singer/songwriter and Billboard Song Contest winner and has just released his fifth, full-length album. ‘Collamer Circle’ has Levinson joining forces with fellow Vermont singer/songwriter Ben Patton. Levinson and Patton have a rich history that stems back to their high school days, which makes this one special collaboration.
Levinson and Patton co-wrote all 14 songs on ‘Collamer Circle’ as Justin Levinson was on lead vocals & piano while Ben Patton handled guitar, bass, organ and vocals. There was also an esteemed cast of musicians on this album and they are: Adam Popick on drums, bass & organ, Anna Patton on clarinet, AJ Banach on trumpet, flute & trombone and Joshua Glass on organ & vocals. Ben Patton and Adam Popick produced ‘Collamer Circle’ and Andre Maquera mastered the record at West Street Digital recording studio. Power pop numbers and emotionally-drenched ballads make up the heart, skin and bones of ‘Collamer Circle’.
The album kicks off with a happy-go-lucky hook & melody on “Madeline for the Win” and it instantly draws you in. Next is “California Sun” with its big, bright sound that makes you feel downright good, so shine ON Justin! Track three, “Lead Me to You”, offers up wonderful harmonies along with a terrific melody & rhythm. It’s time to “Send Some Love My Way” that provides pristine vocals and dynamite guitar strumming all delivered flawlessly by Justin Levinson. You may be saying to yourself next “Baby You’ve Arrived” where fun vibes & fun times collide to make up one outstanding performance. Track six, “I Need Somebody Now”, is one, rock-solid set that really stands out for all the right reasons. It’s time to get acquainted with “Mirabelle” next that displays a friendly charm that can’t be denied. We jump onto “Then and There” where the listener will be subjected to a merry-go-round of glowing melodies and one fun ride. Everybody line up for “Tin Foil Hat Parade” where people will march ON to the beat of an appealing tone. Track 10, “No One Can Be Your Everything”, is pleasing to the ears and contains a slower pace that still packs a powerful punch. “Burn Your Whole World To the Ground” is not all doom & gloom based on the title but rather paints a picture that is more of a delicate touch. Track 12, “I Wasn’t Capable”, is standing tall and sounding strong as Levinson & company are singing and playing like true champs. It’s time to soak up the sweet, sunny notes on “She Spreads Sunshine Everywhere” where bright, musical rays are shooting straight into your eardrums. Levinson goes out on a high note with “Tuning Out and Plugging In” where relevant material surrounds you. The lyrics in this song are right on the money in terms of today’s digital world. Hopefully “Tuning Out and Plugging In” will alert people to the fact that many individuals are addicted to certain technology and can’t seem to ever shut it off. The message at the end of the day should be to wake up, turn it off and drink the coffee while also stepping outside to breathe in the fresh air.
It’s worth noting that Justin Levinson has won numerous awards including Billboard Song Contest Winner, International Acoustic Music Awards (Best New Male Artist), USA Songwriting Competition (Runner Up), Sirius Songwriter Discovery of The Year Award, New England Music Awards Winner and ASCAPLUS Award. I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Collamer Circle’ because I gravitate toward the infectious sound Justin Levinson brings to the table and simply can’t get enough!
By Jimmy Rae