Stanley June is solo rock act from Johannesburg, South Africa. The Album “Maps & Minutes” is his sophomore effort as an artist. With a 14 track album, two of which are acoustic versions of songs from the album. No filler tracks of any kind. Good stuff… Anyway, let’s get into it.
MAPS & MINUTES
The album kicks off with “Different Eyes”, a song with mellow verses complemented by high energy chorus. It has a very positive message to its listeners. The song has a bit of a Post-grunge/Alternative rock feel to it and has the potential to be an ear worm after just a few listens. “Holding on” follows suit with the same level of energy but still manages to sound like an entirely different song. I think this is a testament to Stanley’s song writing. A lot of times when songs of the same tempo and energy level are right next to each other, they can sound a bit similar but with regards to the two previously mentioned songs, and with the songs that followed afterwards, that is not the case.
The song “Million miles away” continues things with the same level of song writing and quality as the previous tracks. To my surprise, featured a brief but noticeable guitar solo. You can’t go wrong with a guitar solo. Something about the guitar tone when the solo was being played reminded me of rock music from the 70’s and 80’s.
“Devil Sleeping In” was an acoustic heavy track. The heavy guitars take a break on this one and that lends it a bit of a country vibe. I personally feel the instruments, energy, style etc on this song really complemented Stanley’s voice and style of singing. I can picture the song being used in a scene in a movie where someone is driving a Pickup with the evening sun shining on his face as he drives home to rest after a long day. “Southern Sky” was a fun listen and one of the more memorable songs on the album and it’s all thanks to guest artist Corne Crous.
“Towards the sun” and the album title track “Maps & Minutes” bring the album to a close and they both do a good job of bringing the album to a close. While I feel “Towards the sun” would have been a really good album closer, “Maps & Minutes” doesn’t do a bad job of sending off its listeners. And even though Maps & Minutes is almost 7 minutes long, I never felt it was being dragged on or stretched beyond its elastic limit.
“Maps & Minutes” is a well-done album. The songs are well written and do not sound so similar that they start to sound alike. And there are a few songs that switch things up a bit. The recording, mixing and mastering are all well done which resulted in every instrument being very audible. The vocals on the album were good but sometimes did feel like they didn’t blend seamlessly with some songs. I’m not an expert on singing but…some songs felt like the vocals didn’t really go well with the instruments. To some degree, I felt his voice was better complemented by the acoustic tracks than the straight up rock tracks.
All in all, it was a pleasant listen. And while I personally wasn’t blown away by it, I do know that there are a number of rock/alternative fans that will definitely enjoy this album.