Simon Spire Reviews and Press – ALL or NOTHING

Praise for ALL or NOTHING:

Auckland-born and New York-based Simon Spire is trailblazing his way to success with a debut album worthy of comparisons to the charting international competition.  From the first phrase Spire’s guitar talent is obvious on the jazz/funk shuffle of ‘Inside Out’.  The rock feel of the album saves it in places from the highly produced moments that scream radio song.  “Hiding So Long” is well-written and is a showcase of Spire’s style that is pop guitar.  Among the great songs are moments that could be mistaken for being disjointed but prove they have experimental and unique direction.  “Dying Daily,” “Nor More Words” and “Sweet Release” fill the ballad quota while “All Or Nothing” and “Alive” have the saving grace of upbeat groove.  Muscially, John Mayer is a close comparison with vocals that are mature beyond his years and reminiscent of Elvis Costello.  Another great Kiwi artist flying the flag abroad for us. – The Waikato Times

Simon Spire’s debut album is an evocative album filled with different genres that seem to fit really well together.  The album starts with tracks ‘Inside Out’ and ‘More or Less’ which both have a rock n roll bass line which firstly I found quite off-putting as they just jump straight out at you but after listening to the album several times, I actually quite liked that about them.  The middle of the album is a lot slower and includes the track which has been receiving a lot of airtime ‘Hiding So Long’ which is a great little pop ballad. ‘Dying Daily’ and ‘Sweet release’ are tracks which are more suited to Simon’s vocal styling. Very easy listening and rich with well written lyrics.  ‘You, You, You’ and ‘All or Nothing’ rounds out the album with grassy, rich rock riffs with a mellow bass undertone.  This is an album that grows on you the more it is played and after a while, your toes are tapping and your singing along. –

This album gets off to a delightfully bouncy’n’breezy start with the exuberant “Inside Out.” Simon Spire’s sweet, boyish vocals project an infectious blend of joy and vitality. Spire’s thoughtful songwriting does the trick with admirable economy and a refreshing dearth of cutesy sentiment. The lively and catchy arrangements likewise hit the spot, with ringing guitars, sturdy drums, and chugging basslines keep things smooth, dynamic, and engaging throughout. Moreover, there’s an endearingly bubbly and upbeat quality evident throughout that ‘s impossible to either resist or dislike.  A nice little album. –

It’s not often that I get to compare a band to Squeeze, but New Zealand balladeer Simon Spire deserves it. Squeeze is one of those band names you might not think of instantly, but, given time, many great “quirky” ’80s pop songs you hear on the radio are by them, They Might Be Giants, or Ben Folds (’80s-inspired, that is). That’s great company to be in for newcomer Simon Spire. This 26-year old deserves more attention in the States. Get him on the mp3 CD and see where he goes. –

Spire has the ability to engage in blatant self exposure, whilst at the same time he refrains from alienating his audience; translating his experiences to a wide spectrum of people. Transcendence into the unknown is something everyone is sure to go through, and Simon uses his personal journey, in the pursuit of musical success to illustrate this. – NZ Musician

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