Critical Raves for
Though thoroughly modern and fresh in its sonic approach, Basic Glee offers glorious echoes of a shining moment when rock music was reaching towards the glee of greatness on a daily basis...Richard is an artist driven by more than the search for a hit hes someone whos personally obsessed and intimately connected with the power of rock & roll in our lives. Music is more than a career to this guy its a lifelong passion. And thats why his blood is all over these tracks...when it comes to those priceless seconds of musical pleasure brought to us by a true rock artist like Richard X. Heyman, glee is not simply basic. This sort of glee is downright infectious.
-David Wild, Contributing Editor Rolling Stone Magazine
Exemplary tunesmith...ringing melodies and yearning lyrics...His affinity for the ?60s was more than skin deep...effervescent guitar hooks and pitch-perfect vocal harmonies...Heyman creates something fresh from his influences rather than parroting them.
Richard X. Heyman crafts rich pop music inspired by the Byrds, XTC and even Richard Rodgers.
-New York Post
Basic Glee is the most tuneful and soulful set yet from this ought-be-a-household-name phenom. Heyman plays almost all the parts, and rarely has one-man-band multitracking melded so seamlessly into such a joyous tapestry of power pop. The interweaving vocal parts are Byrds-like, the bass is all McCartney-esque melodicism, and the savvy songwriting evokes vintage Todd Rundgren.
-Stereo Review Sound & Vision
Heyman once again shows his knack for...melodies that sound timeless. Heyman employs an agreeable retro-rock stance that soaks up the ?60s influences of The Beatles, The Who, The Hollies, The Zombies and the other like-minded recruits who stormed these shores during the first wave of the British Invasion. Its a well-trod formula -- the soaring harmonies, jangly guitar lines, effervescent melodies, and eternally sunny sentiments -- but Heyman manages to make this familiar fare sound fresh each time out. Heyman heads a short list of power-pop artists who have managed to transcend their influences with their individual imprint. How does one top perfection? Simply by making greatness his norm.
Soaring vocal harmonies and lively melodies fill this pristine pop album. The title is appropriate, as it delivers 14 tracks of unadulterated joy...impossibly catchy.
-Performing Songwriter Magazine
A gifted pop savant...His sound is the epitome of what pop music once was and what many wish it would again become.
-The Illinois Times
Basic Glee, Heymans wonderfully, appropriately titled fifth full-length album, is the best Beatles record of the new millennium. Basic Glee is one of the freshest discs of 2002, the kind with tunes you cant help humming. Heymans album [has] unusual, delightful depth; his energy and affection for the many ways a guitar can sound make his work distinctive.
His new recording, Basic Glee, is his best recording to date.
-David Fufkin, Fufkin.com
In this crowded musical age, so many artists claim influence by pop cornerstones like The Beatles, Beach Boys and Kinks that reviews which use those bands as a point of comparison are essentially meaningless. But not in this case. Prodigiously talented -- Heyman is offering yet another melodic masterpiece that will leave fans of the aforementioned groups on Cloud Nine. Anyone who loves pop music should fall under the spell of songs as great as disc-opener Everywhere She Goes and the majestic ballad When Evening Comes. The other dozen tunes offer no drop in quality, each one a capsule of classic AM radio sounds made fresh by Heymans intelligence and love for his craft. Any year that features a new Heyman album is bound to be a good one. If you havent discovered this American treasure yet, treat yourself immediately.
-Charleston (WV) Daily Mail
If just 1% of the people who gobbled up the Beatles 1 in 2000 took a chance on Richard X. Heyman, he would be a force to be reckoned with. Basic Glee is Heymans blissful pop synthesis of Beatles/Byrds jump-and-jangle mingled with a harmonic sense that matches the best of the Beach Boys and the Hollies assembled with Todd Rundgrens peerless DIY abilities. Anyone of the crystalline pop gems here, particularly the effusive Everywhere She Goes, the gorgeous When Evening Comes, and the energized Broken Umbrella, would clearly have been at home on any radio format in the 60's. And the Beatles and the Byrds would have had one more friendly rival whose work would have them looking over their shoulders.
Basic Glee, another radiant display of smart, sophisticated pop craftwork. Heyman shows a wonderful ability to regurgitate a centurys worth of melodic rock music without sounding like a mimic...diluting them with his own soulful stamp. Among the many highlights from Basic Glee are the soaring, undeniable Pauline, the sweet 12-string-chime of When Evening Comes, and Broken Umbrella, with its cheery, upbeat vibe thats as smile-inducing as anything Brian Wilson produced in his happier early days.
Heyman has quietly been carving out a career as one of the great pop maestros of our time. Basic Glee, his new album, is an apex of his abilities, and may in fact be one of the finest records of 2002. [Heyman] takes a myriad of influences...to create a singular identity that is overflowing with virtue and strength of spirit. Heyman renders emotions in such a fashion that they will no doubt age quite well. People will still be listening to them in 20 years, I promise...Heavy yet refined Keith Moon-meets-Ringo Starr drum tracks...the drumming is exceptionally powerful. Heyman is a true singer/songwriter...Basic Glee is all things to pop; a celebration of the form and a wholly original document that beguiles the ear, as well as the heart. Indispensable? Oh yeah.
For fans of jangly guitars, great harmonies and old-fashioned songcraft, this CD is like manna from power pop heaven. Richard X. Heymans Basic Glee is a celebration of the various sounds you can get from guitar and while other instruments make cameo appearances, this is about six and twelve string guitars, electric and acoustic and the musical glee they provide. Basic Glee [is] the best yet -- glorious harmonies and delicious melodies, perfect fills and skilled performances that defy the reality of it being almost all a one-man show. The music gets better with every listen...Just superb rich music...gorgeous guitar sounds. If you love the sounds and textures of guitars and sweet melodic harmonies, youll love this CD. If you love Heymans earlier efforts, I guarantee you will be ecstatic about this new one.
Few have the knack for making homespun discs with quite as much power pop punch as Richard X. Heyman...rich pop melodies, Beatle-esque, multi-layered vocals and instruments sounding very much like a jingle jangling throwback to the prime-time Byrds.
-Union News/Sunday Republican, (Springfield, MA)
This album should warm the cockles of Heymans fans hearts and stand as a nice introduction to a new generation of power-pop enthusiasts. Everywhere She Goes is the best Brian Wilson song not written by Brian Wilson.
Richards best album to date. Each of Richards previous albums has been a masterpiece in their own right, so dont waste any time in acquiring your own copy of Basic Glee. Every song on Basic Glee is a winner. Long may you run, Sir Richard!
-Eric Sorensen, fufkin.com
Glee, to put it simply, is happiness in the extreme, and Richard X. Heyman is an expert at expressing such X-Game level joy through his extra spicy pop-rock music. The end result is what sounds like everything youve ever loved about melodic rock all rolled into one tuneful album.
-Tidal Wave Magazine
Heyman pulls no puns -- from the discs title to his cat-filled Tabby Road studios -- as he puts the pow! back in power pop. Hook-filled tunes like Pauline will make you a member of the Glee club.
The Shakespeare of Manhattan is a multi-talented power popsmith. Rather than simply replicate obvious influences (?60s British Invasion, 70s and 80s New Wave), Heyman works the template with heart and wit. A must listen for fans of blue-eyed soul and ringing Rickenbackers.
New York underground pop hero Richard X. Heyman cranks out another effortless gem. [Basic Glee] is a festival, a carnival, a veritable parade of 14 tuneful turns of phrase and melody executed so flawlessly. If you dont drive a convertible, go buy one now so you can blast Pauline while you cruise the strip with the top down. Automatic for the power pop people.
-Yeah Yeah Yeah