Mark McCrite should be a familiar name to those that follow contemporary progressive rock, as the singer/songwriter/musician has been a regular member of Rocket Scientists for many years, as well as a frequent collaborator of Erik Norlander & Lana Lane solo projects. Getting to the Point is his debut solo album, and while it's far removed from the bombastic & sometimes hard rocking prog-rock he's known for with his other endeavors, Mark's strong sense of melodies and harmonies really rise to the occasion here. The CD includes 10 songs, many of which are charming little pop ditties embellished with tasty guitar work and Mellotron, bringing to mind recent solo works from artists such as Fritz Doddy and Ryan Parmenter. McCrite's love for the Beatles, as well as early Genesis, is pretty apparent throughout this CD, as many of the vocal melodies will bring a smile to lovers of the Fab Four, while some of the musical arrangements have a floating, pastoral feel, that remind a tad of Trespass, Foxtrot, and Lamb era Genesis. Mark's got a batch of musicians helping him out on various songs, while he handles all the guitars, lead vocals, and adds in some dobro, Mellotron, Hammond organ, and percussion.
The songs run the gamut from catchy pop numbers ("The Truth") to upbeat, more rocking material ("Can You Feel This"), to personal, introspective pieces ("Slip Away"), all featuring McCrite's soothing and melodic vocals over sparse yet effective instrumentation. The cover of the Monkees "Love is Only Sleeping" is given a royal treatment, complete with layered vocals, swirling Hammond, and Mellotron flutes. Dave Kerzner, the keyboard player that performed with the late Kevin Gilbert on his performance of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway at Progfest 1994, adds his talents to the catchy rocker "Getting to the Point" , and the wonderful instrumental "Strange Fortune" features sax player Lance Rickman, who lends some smokey melodies over lush Mellotron and McCrite's silky guitar lines. Both "They Say" and "Sad Man's Song" are tender, more acoustic based numbers, each one with emotional vocals from McCrite, and the closer "So Long" is a loving tribute to Kevin Gilbert, with some gorgeous piano work from Vince DiCola, and layers of Mellotron choir & McCrite's tasty guitars.
Getting to the Point comes across as a very personal release from Mark McCrite, and it's obvious that a lot of love and care went into writing and recording these songs. If you've ever wondered what this talented musician (and a very nice guy I might add) could do off on his own, pick up a copy of this extremely enjoyable CD and experience his little labor of love. There's no bombast, no aggression, nothing political, and no reason for wankery, just a guy at ease with himself and wanting to share some cool and lasting melodies with the world. Amen to that.
1. Can You Feel This? (M. McCrite) 3:00
2. The Truth (M. McCrite) 2:40
3. Closing the Door (M. McCrite/T. McCrite/P. Meyer) 4:14
4. Slip Away (M. McCrite) 4:43
5. Love is Only Sleeping (B. Mann/C. Weil) 3:30
6. Strange Fortune (M. McCrite) 5:43
7. Getting to the Point (M. McCrite) 4:03
8. They Say... (M. McCrite/T. McCrite) 3:56
9. Sad Man's Song (M. McCrite) 2:54
10. So Long (M. McCrite/T. McCrite) 6:49