Bryan Montgomery, The Stylus
The Rochester-based band Tinted Image has been at the forefront of the local music scene for several years now. From its recent acquisition by Viacom — for use on TV channels like MTV, VH1 and E! — to its upcoming show at Water Street Music Hall on May 20, there is no act currently hotter than the four-piece.
With the band's second EP, Blueprints, Tinted Image improves its already strong sound with a set of great tracks that span genres and show off the band's full potential.
The band consists of Alyssa Coco (vocals/piano), Matt Merritt (guitar), Levi Bennett (drums/percussion) and Joel Vickers (saxophone/vocals). The band's first EP, The Acoustic Sessions, was a showcase for Coco's natural talent as a musician combined with Merritt's exhubrant talent at guitar. Blueprints kicks everything up a notch, bringing in a great deal of work from Bennett and Vickers in what ultimately becomes a full package.
The EP consists of six tracks, the first of which is "Fall Away." Starting the album with the sound of a film reel, the band soon kicks into a strong opening song. Tinted Image's main theme is an adult contemporary mix with a bit of soft rock and jazz thrown in the mix. Some have deemed Tinted Image the "female Dave Matthews Band," but the band sounds more like a cross between The Script and Sara Barellies
"Paper Thin," the second track on the album, is the best song that Blueprints has to offer. It has a solid sound throughout, mixed in with a great hook for a chorus and an even more intoxicating bridge. The song starts off sounding mysterious, but then hits you with a great overall sound.
For fans of Tinted Image, "Head On" is a single that has been played at a majority of the band's gigs. It's a song that has been one of the primary hooks that has generated the band's ever-increasing fan base. Coco's voice carries this track with self-confidence and drive, stressing the importance of a supporting individual. Bennett's drums in the song help propel the chorus and bridge transistions.
Featured in recent commercials for Eastview Mall, "Little Bit of Love" shows the upbeat side of Tinted Image and Merritt's great talent on guitar, as he gives the intro some magic on the fret board for a great-sounding jazz piece.
"Moving On" and "Tracing" end the album with two acoustic pieces that showcase how the band plays in many of its shows, normally played in light, acoustic venues. "Moving On" is a powerful song lyrically, while "Tracing" showcases the band's fast-paced sound, especially during the chorus.
For any individual who has listened to Tinted Image during the last two years, Blueprints is an EP to immediately get your hands on. This is a great showcase by an awesome band, and deserves to be heard. For more information, visit www.tinted-image.com.