We love this song so much we had to share it right away! Written and performed by Norman Kelsey from his new album "On the Rebound" (available on iTunes and other platforms). A great summertime tune that would doubtless bring a smile to Mark Twain.
On The Rebound Reviews
The Mark Twain Author Facebook Page
The former Rush Hour Soul front man moves from tunes that make you boogie to slow, soulful seductive numbers with ease on this release. It's nice and easy to listen to, but you wouldn't file it under easy listening. It reminds me a lot of 70s soul offerings. The songs feel comfortable and familiar quite quickly and it's almost impossible not to tap your foot or nod along to tracks like So Sophisticated or Huckleberry Finn. If comparisons have to be made I would plump for a mixture of the essences of Prince and Smokey Robinson with the commercial air of The Stylistics.
Special mention must be made of the track "Supermodels With Gatling Guns" A title with a lot of promise that doesn't disappoint!
L.A.-based singer/songwriter Norman Kelsey’s sophomore solo effort, On the Rebound, finds him mining the suave soul man territory, to great effect. Kelsey’s vocals are top drawer (love the oft-present falsetto), the songs are across-the-board memorable (we particularly dig the Bee Gees homage “Our Love is Known By Name,” the silky “Huckleberry Finn” and the sweet, Prince-influenced ballad “Airport Kisses”) and he offers up a contender for Song Title of the Year: “Supermodels With Gatling Guns.” Grade: B+
LA Music Examiner
The album opens on “So Sophisticated”. Written by Kelsey and Bryan Farrar, it begins with a blues-tinged riff reminiscent of Robert Cray as performed by Marsland. Some critics go so far as to say the song somehow sets a tone for the entire disc. It does certainly grab your attention.
The second selection is the title track “On The Rebound”. Kelsey’s warm falsetto vocals and even his attitude here somehow seem inspired by the likes of such unusual artists as Prince. It is further highlighted with a guitar solo by Farrar. Farrar also co-composed this cut. Kelsey has just begun.
The next number is “She's My Go-To”. This is another example of what Kelsey can do as a solo songwriter and is also perhaps somewhat influenced by his exposure to Brit bands. In fact, he has played in the UK at such venues as the Cavern Club and the Notting Hill Arts Club in London.
“Our Love Is Known By Name” follows. It has a noteworthy early Bee Gees-like opening. It also features Evie Sands as guest vocalist. The track seems to be a fan favorite and may be one of the reasons why his music has been well-received here in Los Angeles. This, too, was written entirely by Kelsey.
Rush has “Tom Sawyer” and now Norman Kelsey has “Huckleberry Finn”. In this case, the reflective cut was obviously inspired by author Mark Twain. Tracks like this might be why his music continues to be heard on such TV shows as “Up All Night”, “Parks & Recreation”, “Gossip Girl” and more.
The sixth selection is “Your Majestic Rejection”. Kelsey’s personal brand of songwriting continues here. This particular piece is features a noteworthy solo by saxophonist Larry O. Williams of the Gap Band. (It continues to fascinate your rockin’ reviewer to see how this indie artist often includes numerous memorable guest musicians.)
One of the best bits on this CD has to be “Supermodels With Gatling Guns” which not only stands out as a future trademark track but also reminds listeners of his writing style. It also includes a solo by Farrar to flesh it out musically. One cannot help but wonder where he gets his ideas. (Witness the eclectic namedropping included in the lyrics: The Grateful Dead, Paul McCartney’s daughter Stella and even Star Wars’ R2D2.)
Also included here is “Saffron Dancer” which demonstrates that Kelsey writes songs in order “to create a record with varied flavors, reminiscent of a summer day back when radio would spin pop, funk, rock, disco, R&B ballads and stadium anthems back-to-back.” (Why the dancer is a saffron dancer in uncertain but examining Kelsey’s word choice is sometimes part of the experience.)
Every album needs a ballad or a love song of some sort. “Airport Kisses” fits the bill here. The focus of this near-heartbreaker is on the bittersweet moment when one kisses a lover goodbye. While one wonders if Kelsey himself actually tours sans wife, the song still stands by itself.
The closing cut is “Miracle Is On the Way”. Co-written by Farrar, it’s a final example of the duo’s tuneful teamwork. In general, the material here is a musical mixture revealing his sources of inspiration to include among other things sounds from “the Gilded Age”, the dawn of disco and such artists as The Beatles and Bob Dylan. His signature sound is a musical mixture of funk, gut bucket slow jams and 1970s-influenced R&B with lyrical lines that are oft’times “So Sophisticated”.
DJ Readman Blog
I was seriously not expecting this music.
Combine the early years of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Prince and a slice of the Blues Brothers in a simple formular and you have some class songs on a great album by Norman Kelsey.
I find this album, very refreshing for the fact that it has a great retro feel, while keeping the style modern. Opens up with So Sophisticated, just goes in at the deep and and instantly reminds you of the 70s and 80s era of R&B.
In general, Norman, is very creative in the way has just has the right elements of the old R&B style, with pop, lounge and Soul, keeping it simple as well and great voice. In this genre, it stands out. I am a fan of the artists above, not huge but the earlier work is the best and Norman captures the sound in his own original works.
On the Rebound, very reminiscent of Prince, probably a tip to the hat to the artist. From that Supermodel with Gatling Guns, very tongue and cheek and a great pop song. The last song, A Miracle is on the way, very nice guitar work. This really is harking back to the great R&B days and very well recorded.
Anyone a fan of Prince, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and number of artists in this genre, this is worth buying.
Liverpool Sound and Vision
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
He is called the Clark Kent of Soul, however for those in the U.K. that haven’t had the pleasure of this young man’s work yet, it is perhaps easier to say he is perhaps the most exciting American Soul singer/musician since the days of the irreplaceable Marvin Gaye. Not so much a superhero but a wonderful talent that justifies being included alongside in the pantheon of Soul greats and his latest album the sensational On The Rebound keeps that label intact.
Norman Kelsey’s second album continues the journey the young man from Cleveland, Ohio has been on and each song that resides within On The Rebound is an absolute stunner in its own right, a cornucopia of really decent song writing and absolutely brilliant musicianship. The songs sound relaxed, captivating and have the ability to charm listeners with their easy going nature.
The supporting musicians also give their all which makes a distinctive pleasant change and in Rahmlee Michael Davis of Earth Wind and Fire fame makes a wonderful contribution to the recording.
It is almost near impossible to listen to this new album by Norman Kelsey without being transported to the long roads of the American heartlands, music supplied by the individual commercial radio stations that litter the highways that run from the north to the south-west and play songs that make the journey unique and unforgettable. These journeys are when you find something new that excites you; that makes you prick up the ears and write down hurriedly the name of the musician that has captured your heart. Norman Kelsey has that same desired effect on his album and on songs such as the opener So Sophisticated, Our Love is Known By Name, Your Majestic Rejection and the memorable and utterly absorbing Supermodels With Gatling Guns those journeys are once more within easy and tantalising reach.
Soul/Pop music finally has a new superstar worthy of its incredible heritage. Norman Kelsey is a name to remember.
He's got a new album too. Some of you here might remember that we went nuts over Norman's previous effort called A TALENT FOR LOVING that we talked about quite a bit on here. ON THE REBOUND is his new joint and I would recommend it highly if you dig funky music and gut bucket slow jams. Check out the video for the MONSTER slow jam called "YOUR MAJESTIC REJECTION."
Minty and the Beeb - Spin It Or Bin It
"We were lucky enough to catch Norman Kelsey live at Liverpool’s IPO Festival, when he played with just an acoustic guitar. He was certainly different from the Power Pop you expect at this fixture in our calendar, but he did a great job in keeping the crowd’s attention with the songs he played.
The first song on this new album,” So Sophisticated”, opens with a Robert Cray style bluesy riff played by the producer, Adam Marsland, before the horns take you on a funk trip. The title “So Sophisticated” sets the tone for the album, because that’s just what the album is. A sophisticated and well-structured slice of soul, funk and lush vocals throughout.
The title track tips the hat to an obvious appreciation of Prince, which is evident elsewhere on the album. This is no bad thing, especially since Norman has a really warm and soulful falsetto that’s difficult to tire of.
“Our Love Is Known By Name” opens with a stunning Bee Gees at their best type harmony…and then gets better! Having Evie Sands helping out on vocals guarantees greatness of course.
There’s a lot going on lyrically too, none more so than in “Supermodels With Gatling Guns,” which manages name-check R2D2 and Stella McCartney!
“Airport Kisses” is a real heartbreaker that captures perfectly the sadness of someone who travels from home a lot and misses the love that's been left behind.
Throughout this album great credit has to go to Adam Marsland for his outstanding production work and musical contributions. He’s done an amazing job, and he should be very proud of the result.
The bottom line though, is that Norman Kelsey’s great songs can stand strong with just his voice and that little acoustic guitar, as witnessed in Liverpool earlier this year.
This is an outstanding album from a truly sophisticated vocalist."
On The Rebound by Norman Kelsey - Produced by Almost Fairytales Films
"On The Rebound Album
The new album is called On The Rebound; this is my second solo album. What I like to do is to sort of recreate what radio was like when I was a kid. When I was very young you could turn on the radio and you might hear a rock song, followed by a country song, followed by an R ‘n’ B song, followed by a disco song. This is the first album that I have done were the performers on it were all session musicians. The trumpeter is Rahmlee Michael Davis; he was with Earth, Wind and Fire and the Phenix Horn Band with Phil Collins. One of the backing vocalists on the album is Evie Sands who has had an impressive career in her own right. She is one of those voices that you hear and it humbles you to know that she is on your record.
The song is mildly influenced by the book, but I think it is one of those personal journeys down your own Mississippi. I had a chance to re-read Huckleberry Finn in its entirety about two years ago and there was something cool about the themes and about the characters that I hadn’t put into perspective and life sort of took over for a couple of years without doing any music at all, not any writing. And I realised at some point that I wasn’t happy not writing and this song sort of speaks to, I guess in the grand tradition of My Back Pages by Dylan or Help that it is looking backwards by looking forwards.
The problem with a lot of reality shows is that they give the false impression to a lot of younger artists or would be artists that this is their only shot at creating music or creating art and it’s not true. They can do it for themselves; it does take putting your own money and staking your own claim, which can be difficult, but its not impossible and nobody should be discouraged by the fact that anyone person has told them no."