On the surface, this is instrumental progressive guitar rock, with excellent instrumentalists. Beneath that, there are excursions into jazz harmony land, and funky bass lines are ubiquitous. My favourite track is a well-known cover song, and highlights the skill that went into making a mark on that familiar material. For a more original take, stick to the well-chosen opener "Goonsquad".
Favorite track: Everybody Wants to Rule the World.
"Though Mark Lettieri’s third solo album may be a collection of independent vignettes, as a unit they cohere more than ever. United more by feel than concept, they provide ten snapshots of how far their composer has come as an artist. “I wanted to make a statement, and in that respect it’s almost my first record,” says Lettieri of the sessions. “I’m happy with everything I’ve done prior, but I think I’m finally getting it all together.” Listening to the tightness of his band, members of which he drew from the Dallas-Fort Worth funk belt of which he has become an important fixture, it’s easy to agree. The core trio consists of Lettieri, bassist Wes Stephenson, and drummer Jason Thomas. To this nexus he invites guest satellites Shaun Martin (Rhodes, synths, piano), Milo Deering (pedal steel guitar and fiddle), and Bobby Sparks (synths)."
- Tyran Grillo, 2016
released May 20, 2016
Mark Lettieri: electric, acoustic, baritone, and Hammertone guitars, synths and loops
Jason “JT” Thomas: drums and percussion
Wes Stephenson: bass guitar
Shaun Martin: acoustic and electric piano, synths (tracks 1, 2, 4 & 8)
Bobby Sparks: synths and clavinet (tracks 1 & 10)
Milo Deering: pedal steel guitar, fiddle (track 9)
Produced by Mark Lettieri
Co-produced, engineered, and mixed by Joey Lomas
Additional engineering by Bart Rose
Mastered by Scott Hull at Masterdisk, New York, NY
Recorded at Fort Worth Sound in Fort Worth, TX, Sherman Street Studios in Richardson, TX, and Patrick McGuire Recording in Arlington, TX
All songs written and arranged by Mark Lettieri for Markus Justinius Music (ASCAP), except “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” written by Roland Orzabal, Chris Hughes, and Ian Stanley. “Goonsquad (Reprise)” arranged by Lettieri, Wes Stephenson and Jason “JT” Thomas.