REVIEWS

X | Tier/And Other Stories | Actual Sighs | Basic Glee | Cornerstone | Living Room!! and Hey Man!

Raves for
X

“Sumptuous guitar-and-harmony pop from underground legend. With his chiming, droning waves of guitar jangle, silky, multi-tracked harmonies, and persistently tuneful, mellifluous melodies straight out of the book of Byrds, Badfinger, and Big Star, New Yorker Richard X. Heyman is a throwback pop marvel. Think gorgeous, creamily melodic Marshall Crenshaw-inspired pop (“Be The One”), mid-tempo, ‘80’s-style guitar rockers (“Hangman Smiles”, “Firing Line”), sprinkled with the occasional fragile ballad (“If You Have To Ask”).”
Luke Torn, Uncut


“He’s a veritable one man band; it’s his ability to churn out unfailingly infectious songs that makes him so indispensable. X comes on with a rush of sheer exhilaration and adrenalin, as immediately made apparent in the sweep of its opening volley, “When Denny Dropped Out of the Scene,” “Please Be Mindful” and “Be the One.” Heyman delivers both quantity and quality… riveting, resilient and packed with all the musical muscle one man could ever hope to muster, X marks another milestone.”
Lee Zimmerman, Blurt Magazine


“I’ll get right to the point: this album is wonderful. Richard X. Heyman delivers on every level with this, his tenth solo album, appropriately titled X. The veteran multi-instrumentalist does it all with this 15 track masterpiece. Quality melody, arrangements, vocals, hooks – it’s all here.”
Rob Ross, Popdose


“X marks the pop. Not just any old pop, mind you. This is the real thing: vintage Beatlesque/Byrdsian bonbons that will leave you saying, ‘Yes, they do make ‘em like they used to!’”
Ken Richardson, Sound and Vision Magazine


X is vintage Heyman — a summation of what he does best. As usual, Heyman wrote all the songs, sings all the parts and and plays all the instruments. From the chiming guitars and luscoius harmony vocals of the opening cut “When Denny Dropped Out of the Scene,” and the dramatic, Who-like crashing chords of the second song, “Please Be Mindful,” Heyman lays his influences on the line right off the bat. Heyman reaches back to his garage-band roots for “Compass,” while “House of Cards,” to pick just one example, demonstrates why he has long been in demand as a drummer…all of X marks the spot.”
Tom Weber, MN Post-Bulletin


“While his many, many champions throughout what remains of the music business compare Richard most favorably indeed to other such singing/songwriting one-man-bands as Messrs. McCartney, Rhodes and Rundgren, to me RXH has always approached his art more with the unfailing ear-for-sonic-detail of a home-recording Pete Townshend. To wit on this, his tenth album in at least twice as many years, the guitars are taught and tightly tremolo’d, the snare snaps without suffocating, and the vocals – now here’s where we separate the men from the noise – are deep, lush, and ever-resonating. For example, “The Difference Between Us” leans lovingly towards his, and our, beloved Left Banke, “Hangman Smiles” should have been covered by no less than the Global-era Cowsills, “Be The One” twists and shouts out for that other all-American pop wonder Bill Lloyd, and “Compass” just must be brought on stage immediately by the Hey! man’s “day band” The Doughboys. But it’s ultimately “If You Have To Ask”, four minutes of full fantastic RXH-tasy, which I’d ultimately have to pick as my 2013 choicest from a songbook already crammed with undeniable gems.”
Gary Pig Gold


“As always, here on his tenth album X, Heyman has written and recorded songs that are catchy on top, complex when you dig deeper, and memorable all the while.”
Bill Kopp, Musoscribe


Richard X. Heyman is a pop craftsman whose work harkens back to the hooky rock and roll of Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, and Todd Rundgren. In fact, like his three masterful forebears, Heyman can do it all—play any instrument you throw at him, sing lead and harmony vocals, and handle songwriting and arranging duties. Heyman’s latest record – X – is a tremendous collection of catchy rock and roll cuts. If you love warm guitars, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, and Big Star, chances are you’ll get a kick out of X.”
Paul Gleason, Caught In The Carousel


“Rack up another 15 winners here as Heyman, who plays every instrument, keeps his influences exposed yet never simply copies them. You’ll hear bits of the Who, the Hollies, the Beatles, Badfinger, Big Star, the Flamin’ Groovies, the Smithereens and especially the Byrds drift in and out of these tracks that balance on a nifty tightrope between Brit and American rock. It’s to Heyman’s credit that none of the songs explicitly sound like any of those bands. Heyman uses his sure footed sense of melody along with his obvious instrumental and especially production abilities to craft hook laden ear candy that’s never sugary or predictable. His dusky voice, somewhat similar to a combination of Donald Fagen and Paul Weller, effortlessly shifts from rockers such as the Brit invasion kick of “Somebody Has Finally Found Me” and “Compass” to the Stonesy blues hooks of “Verges on the Day” and the Roger McGuinn shimmering 12 string strum of “Be the One.” Anyone new to Heyman will be thrilled to know there are nine more platters as great as this. Don’t let this terrific talent get to album 11 without the acclaim he deserves and that X clearly proves he has earned.”
Hal Horowitz, American Songwriter


“Potent arrangements, layered with crafty hooks characterize each song on this impressive disc. Richard’s pop sensibilities are functioning and firing on all cylinders, while his inner rock god aspirations also frequently swagger their way into the mix. Emitting warmth, honesty and a timeless quality, X indeed marks the spot!”
Beverly Paterson, Something Else Reviews


"X, the tenth album from pop auteur Richard X. Heyman, is his most diverse and realized collection yet. From a diverse set of influences he’s crafted an unmistakably original and compelling song cycle, recalling the best elements of artists from the Byrds and the Left Banke to the Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen. Any fan of beautifully crafted songs and expert, vibrant power-pop performances will swoon to X. Heyman is a consummate craftsman. His songwriting is accomplished; he weds real melodies to sharply observed character studies and personal polemics. His playing is terrific. His drumming anchors the performances but he’s not afraid of the odd Keith Moon flail or fill-happy moment. His bass playing is supple and McCartney fueled. He’s a damn good guitarist and keyboard player, too; there’s not much he can’t do. X is a stunning achievement in pop arranging, composition, playing, production and singing – the modern day equivalent of any of Todd Rundgren’s classic exercises in self, and a superb collection of songs that rivals its inspirations, from The Notorious Byrd Brothers, Empty Glass (Peter Townshend), and the Beach Boys Sunflower era recordings."
Steve Wilson, Paraphilia Magazine


“We have Heyman both rocking and wistful on the new X… a genuinely exciting affair… soaring and delicate cuts… X also has some brilliantly hyper moments that ditch power-pop cliches for playful innovation. It’s the album that you’d expect from some kid ready to put an exciting new spin on the genre...consistently perfect…Heyman’s best album. He’s made a few classics, but you can tell why these songs inspired him to return back to being a one-man band for an entire album. X is a much-needed example of life-affirming jangle-pop. The closing track of “Will To Go On” couldn’t arrive at a more perfect time.”
J.R. Taylor, Stomp & Stammer


“Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Richard X. Heyman has been a steady part of the DIY pop-rock scene since the late 1980’s. Heyman proves he’s still got the goods on his tenth solo album. Heyman’s raspy voice casts a soothing spell while his sharp and concise songwriting mines a fine and thoughtful line in bittersweet introspection. Whether he’s addressing the sudden disappearance of an old friend in the poignant “When Denny Dropped Out of the Scene,” or rocking it up with utmost rip-roaring brio on the marvelously grungy “Compass,” Heyman keeps the kickin’ music on a steady course throughout. Moreover, Heyman’s knack for catchy melodies and harmonic arrangements never falters for a minute. The overall sound has a wonderfully timeless classical rock’n’roll vibe to it that further enhances this baby’s considerable charm. A total winner.”
Joe Wawrzyniak, Jersey Beat


“Power pop champion Richard X. Heyman’s aptly-titled 10th album X is simply one of the best albums of 2013. Recorded in his home studio in New York City, “The Kit Factory,” Heyman’s musical talents are obvious; indeed he not only provides all the vocals but plays all the instrumental tracks too. Even more impressive are the songs, with the yearning “When Denny Dropped Out of the Scene,” intoxicating “Be The One,” Roger McGuinn-styled folk-rocker “Firing Line” and pop-rock gemstone “Somebody Has Finally Found Me” being among my faves.”
Robert Kinsler, Music News Nashville


X is a lush collection of melodic ballads and rock tunes.”
Terry Flamm, Illinois Entertainer


Heyman is a master of melody and he proves it over and over again.”
Powerpopaholic


X is full of folky, pop-rock uplifting songs…Richard X. Heyman is very talented as he masterfully performs various instruments.”
Nick Kuzmack, Slug Magazine