By Sheena Barnett
• Sky Shelton’s debut album, “New Sound Old Soul” will be released at a CD release party on Sept. 22 at The Lyric Oxford. It can also be purchased at iTunes, cdbaby.com and skyshelton.com.
Oxford-based musician Sky Shelton can play just about any instrument, but the one he really shows off on his new CD is his voice.
Shelton will have a CD release party for his debut solo record, “New Sound Old Soul” next week, and it’s a work he should be proud of, considering he wrote all the songs, played every instrument and produced the album.
Still, it’s his voice that steals the show on “New Sound Old Soul.”
His soulful tone is radio ready, one that could stand out amongst today’s Autotuned pop. He feels his music, and you can hear every emotion in his multi-octave voice. He flirts with a bit of slicked-up digital vocal tricks, but does not need them at all.
His style is, as his record’s title suggests, pop/rock with a soul and R&B flavor.
He gets funky on tracks like “Colorblind Music,” “Unconditional” and “Crazy Drunk Girls.”
Shelton, the son of a preacher man, remembers his raising with tunes like “Church” and “Pray for Me,” but he never gets too preachy himself.
The album closes on a sweet note with “Rhymes With Orange,” a cute love song whose title is a nod to Shelton’s former band.
At times, there’s almost a bit too much going on – too many background vocals, etc. – and Shelton’s talent is so pure he really doesn’t need so much happening. Otherwise, “New Sound Old Soul” is a solid record.
Shelton’s hook-filled songs are just waiting for an audience to gobble them up. “New Sound Old Soul” is the kind of album that could make Shelton a star.