Album Review: Greg Holden, ‘World War Me’

greg-holden-world-war-me-album

First, there was fire. What followed next wasn’t just ash. Instead, the curtains stayed open, and Greg Holden used his charred fingers to fuel the engine of his new album, World War Me.

Sit and picture this scenario. You’re a successful and talented songwriter living in New York who picks up everything to relocate closer to L.A. There are obvious professional advantages. Your label is there and the whole industry is basically budding new petals of opportunity on repeat.

Then, your label drops you like hot coal on a rare Persian rug and doesn’t bat an eye about it.

Do you want to know how to brush it off? Ask pop singer/songwriter, Greg Holden. World War Me is Holden’s answer. He walked away with an album that is the epitome of “man vs. self”.

World War Me

Image result for greg holden world war me

Everything you see and hear is the product of Greg Holden’s DIY approach to making an album from the ground up. The general creative direction of the album, as well as his own press photos and self-written bio, was a very personal venture. Holden took full control of the entire process with the direction and support from a few other respected songwriters in the industry. Garrison Starr, Holden’s trusted friend, helped write a majority of the songs, and “On the Run” was recorded by the Butch Walker. Aside from that, the bulk of the album was produced at his home studio in Los Angeles.

I’m going to dig up the pain
Stop burying my feelings
Standing in the rain
Let it all wash out

Image result for greg holden world war me
Greg Holden

The first verse of “Nothing Changes” is the seed of this ongoing journey. You might recognize the bold aura from a similar song of his – “Home”. Holden is a thoughtful songwriter who knows how to inspire a sense of power through words alone. If you strip away the instrumentals, you get his pure poetic extract. When I put myself in Holden’s shoes, I can’t help but think of the word “therapeutic”.

Holden uses a blend of modern pop and a bit of electronic ambiance to widen out the mix, which leaves plenty of room for his lyrics to resonate. He created the ideal landscape for his content to flow freely. It’s like witnessing Holden shout atop a life-sized paper mache Mt. Olympus. Yes, he built it on his own. Now, listen.

Or don’t. It’s more about him and less about the world.

Holden had quite the crisis during the few years after his label partner let him go. Since then, he’s been in the midst of what he calls “the existential crisis of 2016..and 2017 and 18.” It took sporadic cycles of self doubt to get to where he is now. You might even say the battle isn’t over.

So, he’s inviting you to come see it. Check out the tour dates below!

4.25 – The Red Room Cafe 939 – Boston, MA

4.26 – Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 – New York, NY

5.1 – Ortlieb’s Lounge – Philadelphia, PA

5.2 – Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA

5.5 – The Basement – Nashville, TN

5.10 – Freilichtbuhne am Kalkberg – Bad Segeberg, Germany

5.12 – Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands

5.14 – Ponyhof – Frankfurt Am Main, Germany

5.15 – Zehner – Munchen, Germany

5.16 – Hangar 49 – Berlin, Germany

5.17 – Altes Pfandhaus – Koln, Germany

5.19 – Nochtspeicher – Hamburg, Germany

5.23 – St. Pancras Old Church – London, UK

5.24 – The Eagle Inn – Manchester, UK

6.1 – Lost Lake Lounge – Denver, CO

6.3 – Sunset – Seattle, WA

6.4 – McMenamins White Eagle Saloon & Hotel – Portland, OR

6.6 – The Hotel Utah Saloon – San Francisco, CA

6.7 – The Moroccan Lounge – Los Angeles, CA

World War Me is available on all major platforms. Visit www.gregholdenonline.com for more.