Craig Bartock is a veteran of the music biz that has all the bases covered. Prior to releasing The Finer Points Of Instinct, he contributed to the outstanding Heart release Jupiter’s Darling (2004). Nancy Wilson of Heart is a guest on this recording, she plays mandolin on the track “September.”
Bartock has a sense of tempo with his finger on your pulse, and he does this because he knows how to lay down a hook with his guitar and vocals. “Doll House” kicks off with quirky guitar lines and Adrian Belew like vocals, making the cut sound as if it were King Crimson turned inside out. It ends up sounding like a pop-alternative gem when it is all over. There is more of that on following tracks, notably ‘”100 Reasons” and “Myopic Day.”
Considering all the instruments Bartock plays throughout The Finer Points Of Instinct, ittakes on a different light and meaning when you stop and think about what he sets out to do and accomplishes on this release. As the CD wears on you can really appreciate all of the great guitar work and clever insertions of keyboards to give it some body and sparkling pop taste, not to mention the plethora of other instruments he plays. Even though those factors are firmly in place throughout, Bartock manages to separate himself from all the hopefuls vying for your ears with thoughtful and reflective lyrics, sharp guitar breaks and a voice that does not fit the mold for your typical rock or pop star. That is what I want to hear. I could care less about all the studio gloss and sheen that sells a million albums. I want to hear an artist at work, fulfilling their purpose through their music and the messages that lie within. Bartock convinced me that he has what it takes to make a solid recording from beginning to the end. He keeps it all real while not getting in your face, he adopts an approach that invites you to participate, and with each listen, you become more interested with what is going on with this CD.
If you are interested in hearing a man in his element enjoying his craft, check out Craig Bartock.
Craig Bartock ‘s Tools of The Trade:
Acoustic and electric guitars (including 12 string, and a papoose acoustic), bass (both electric and acoustic), ukulele, Victorian pump organ, Magnus chord organ, mellotron, harmonium, accordion, drums (both real and programming ), keyboards (piano, harpsichord, toy piano, samplers), various percussion, and finally one of the more useful instruments, his voice.