A Portrait of Man: Part I is a new album from NYC-based Indie-rock/alt-pop band, Rebel Kicks. The group is fronted by two brothers: Anthony and Steven Babino, (a full breakdown of musicians credited on this release are listed below). I’m not even sure where to start. Wow this music is good. These guys are really phenomenal singers. I guess being in New York requires you to really be at the top of your game. The first full track Fall of the American Dream sets the standard right away, and you realize this if going to be a pristine listening experience. Alt-pop really is the best way to classify this music. It’s extraordinarily well produced and has a major label-tier quality of professionalism, but at the same time has a little bit more indie credibility. It’s mainstream friendly but doesn’t have any of the elements of the garbage, manufactured consumer pop that’s so prevalent today. This album is just so much more soulful and alive.
Each in its own unique way, these songs all deal with the subject of growth. However, the growth isn’t always linear, and thing’s don’t always grow in a positive direction. There’s a lot of lyrical substance on this album as well as subtle and in depth social commentary on the state of the country. Oxytocin Junky for example vaguely relates to Opioid epidemic, but on a more personal, human level. My favorite track is probably Strange Animals which actually reminds me a bit of The Doors classic, People Are Strange. It just has a similar vibe. As an album, A Portrait of Man: Part I is so rich with content that it’s difficult to even do it justice in a write-up of this length. The songwriting is imaginative and dynamic. The vocal performances are authentic and technically superb. The backing music is energizing, melodic and vibrant. If this album falls into the right hands, these guys are going places.
Anthony Babino – lead and backing vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, bass, keyboard, synthesizer, drums, percussion, programming
Steven Babino – lead and backing vocals, bass, guitar, keyboard, synthesizer, percussion, programming
Daniel Bradley – drums
Jimmy Greco – keyboards and programming
Russ DeSalvo – guitar
Abe Dertner – keyboards and programming on tracks 2 & 6
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