The Successful Failures hit the scene down South in the Pine Barrens back in 2006 and have been on a roll ever since. The group is made up of four guys from Chesterfield, NJ—Mick Chorba, Ron Bechamps, John Williams, and Rob Martin—and they’re known for the idiosyncratic subject matter in their songs. Here I Am, their fourth full-length effort that was released back in March, is no different. Sure these guys can rock, but their lyrics are what make this CD one interesting ride.

“How People Start Sentences” leads the listener in and Chorba’s excellent, witty lyrics take something cliché, like rejection, failure, and breakups, and put a creative new spin on it. It was definitely a refreshing change of pace from most other current songs on the same subject. The group puts an inescapable fun energy into every single cut off this record. The guitar solos in “I Only Know What I Feel” and “The Real Defenders” are both awesome, and the change in styles in “It’s The Turnpike” and “Clifton Mills” shows how multifaceted these guys are.

Their quirky personalities really shine through in some of their more interesting songs. Sure, any group or artist can write about how one of their breakups was traumatic in some way, but it takes some real creativity to write about things like China’s rise to the world stage. That’s exactly what they’re talking about in “The Rise Of China.” Or you could listen to a song about Vikings when you head on through to “Viking Heroes,” or the fall of The Mick in “Mickey Mantle’s Knees.”

These guys put forth a great disc that really showcases their love for making great music while having some fun in the process. Their obscure subject matter, their stylistic range and their catchy melodies are what make this CD a real joy to listen to over and over again.

In A Word: Pleasing

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