Ray Goren - Free

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Until now Goren has been primarily known for his bluesy guitar playing prowess and while that talent is still on display throughout Free, the six song EP shows that Goren, still only a teenager, should not be pigeonholed as a blues rocker. Free is aimed straight at the pop charts, with cuts like "Don't Know Better" incorporating a jazzy hip-hop rhythm that Goren layers soulful vocals over, inserting hot but brief guitar solos here and there. "Emergency" will likely resonate with Goren's female fans in particular; the song finds the singer getting overheated while appreciating his girl's physical attributes. The song's melody plays out on synthesizer but once again there's a brief but incendiary guitar solo; Goren plays both lead instruments and in fact every note heard on Free. A standout here is "Love Gone Wrong" where Goren duets with the Los Angeles-based singer Hewan, who like Goren is in the formative years of what will likely be a lengthy career. The album's title song is about the desire for personal freedom of spirit but all of Free could also be interpreted as an unshackling of Goren's talent. Today the pop charts are his goal, an understandable ambition for a 17-year-old. But fans had better buckle up because Goren is likely to explore lots of territory in the next few years.

Ray Goren - Free

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