Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock, Christian
The most intelligent rock on the market today!
Craig Hansen | Twin Cities, MN USA | 03/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Following the career of Tonio K. is not a pastime for the impatient. His last big release prior to the A&M debacle that scrapped the WHAT? label wasn't even in the '90s...and NOTES FROM A LOST CIVILIZATION, which I think came out around 1988 or so originally, wasn't even his best work. So OLE is a long-overdue treat for those who've been reduced to tracking down obscure soundtracks just to hear something new from the K-man. I hope OLE is a sign of great things to come...like maybe a follow-up record that won't take 10 years to surface, because this is one artist who is way too talented to deserve being silenced for that long by contract hassles. Gadfly, please...keep this man in the studio! Down to the reveiw: OLE is perhaps the best amalgamation of Tonio K's Christian faith and rock sensibilities yet. His pre-faith recordings had humor, street sense, and bite, but little hope. His first post-faith disc, ROMEO UNCHAINED, was wonderful, but as primarily a collection of Christian love songs, lacked the depth of his earlier work. NOTES tried to go deeper but was too serious and not very catchy. OLE, by contrast, is catchy, witty, funny, and poigniant all at once. It's like LIFE IN THE FOODCHAIN with a source of hope. The most immediately likeable tracks are HEY LADY and WHAT A WAY TO LIVE, which capture K at his storytelling balladeer best. His refrain in the latter speaks to, and rebukes, an all-too-common fault in people today, be they people of faith or otherwise: You've never been nice/ And you've never been wrong/ You've never been loved/ You won't let nobody in/ You've been mad at the world too long/ And you never forgive/ And you never forget/ And you'll never know a moment of peace in your life like that/ Man, what a way to live. The main lyrical appeal of Tonio K is that he finds a way to express things we all want to say, and says them more plainly, pointedly, and prolifically than you ever expected. When Tonio K finds a way to say something, there's usually not a way to improve on it. With topics ranging from coping with an ex-girlfriend's slander to military duty to the misconceptions of the slacker generation, Tonio K covers a broad topic range the eludes most of his contemporaries. His fearlessness in topic selection and his creativity in capturing thoughts in the form of lyrics is all-too-rare in the world of pop, and even the brightest minds in the more expressive alt/mod rock genre would have a hard time competing with Tonio K...the most underrated songwriter out there today. If you like your rock catchy, witty, intelligent and thought-provoking, then you'll love Tonio K...whether you're a Christian or not. Here's hoping we hear from him again before 2008."
Followup to Notes of the Lost Civilization has a different t
K. Wilkinson | 02/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In this album, originally recorded in 1989, but unreleased until much later, Tonio K. seems more mellow. That is not to say I dislike this album. I like it a lot.
Stylistically, it is not like Romeo Unchained, nor is it like Notes from the Lost Civilization although there are points where it sounds closer to Notes than to his earlier punk stuff or to the 80's synthesizers of Romeo.
His words are always as important as his music. As an artist I link him with T-Bone Burnett (producer of this album) or Mark Heard (one of the recording engineers on this album).
There are 12 songs:
1. Stop the Clock is maybe the weakest song. Not to say that it is bad, but perhaps it is easily forgotten.
2. Time Steps Aside is an upbeat song about a woman living in the past.
3. Maybe There Isn't is a ballad style song.
4. Stuck stands out on this album. Looking at where our grandparents, parents, and now where we are, it is an upbeat take on how it may not be how we would like it, but it is up to us work through it.
5. That Could Have Been Me reminds of the saying "There but for the grace of God go I."
6. Hey Lady is memorable with a simple arrangement and his vocal. I don't think it is for everyone. Hey Lady might be considered a depressing song by some, good social commentary by others.
7. Come With Me is a beautiful song. I enjoy the imagery and the lyrics. The music fits nicely.
8. I'll Remember You is clearly meant to be the hit song. It is memorable, looking back to teenage love.
9. What a Way to Live is reminiscent of his punk years. I like it.
10. Day and Night and Pardon Me are written to the same or very similar music. Both are still quite different from each other for all of that.
11. Pardon Me for Living. See above.
12. We Walk On is a song with good imagery and is a fitting closer to this album."