Joe Carl – No Money Left For Fun – Review

Joe Carl - No Money Left For FunJoe Carl is a new solo artist who recently released his first double single, No Money Left For Fun. The single consists of two separate tracks, both individually short in duration: “1974” is a mere one minute and twenty seconds; while the second track “Monochrome” is exactly two minutes long. Joe Carl’s debut double single No Money Left For Fun is an honest first impression of an artist yet to bloom.

Joe Carl – No Money Left For Fun

Both songs begin with a few long seconds of silence, likely an editing mistake that leaves the listener eagerly waiting, but I could be wrong. The first track “1974” begins with an upbeat and strummy acoustic guitar. Carl has a youthful yet weathered tenor voice with a carefree speak-singing vocal delivery similar to Bob Dylan or Neil Young. A great attempt at writing an art piece, Carl repeats, “She was a girl from 1974, her hair was short and she was on the run, and everywhere she’d go she’d carry a gun,” a mantra-like story that revolves around the refrain, “1974.” His quickly spoken and off-rhythm lyrics make the song feel conversational with a sense of repetitive urgency.

Joe Carl includes an unnecessary yet endearingly naive verbal introduction of the second track, “Monochrome.” As a songwriter, Carl must be careful about copyright here – this song uses the exact same chord progression and rhythm as “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind, so similar it could cause a legal hiccup. Despite the vocals being difficult to understand, Carl’s vocal delivery feels genuine and heartfelt, like he’s speaking directly to you. Carl could use more practice performing the guitar patterns before making an official recording to avoid mistaken interruptions; nevertheless it’s a decent demo recording for starters. “Monochrome” could use alteration in its rhyme scheme: for example, switching around to ABA or ABAB instead of just AA, BB, but Carl redeems it with a haunting bookend, “Painted faces look my way, then they all return to gray.”

Joe Carl demonstrates musical potential with the release of his debut double single, No Money Left For Fun. Both songs “1974” and “Monochrome” could use more sections such as a bridge or chorus, but Carl’s lyrics have a melancholy poeticism that compensates for the lack of musical variation. While Joe Carl could benefit from more formal musical training, one can tell that he has a connection to the muse and an artistic vision that just needs help being fully realized and musically articulated.

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