Goodbye Girl Friday

Silver or Gold

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Ask a group of musicologists what instrument stands out the most in rock, and chances are that most or all of them will -- without hesitation -- point to the guitar. Guitar-powered, guitar-driven, guitar-based -- these are terms that inevitably come up in connection with everything from rockabilly to grunge to death metal. But there is also a long tradition of piano rock -- a tradition that Jerry Lee Lewis, Elton John, Billy Joel, and Tori Amos have all been a part of. And it is a tradition that Goodbye Girl Friday fits into enjoyably well on Silver or Gold. This 2004 release indicates that David Sherman -- the singer/songwriter, pianist/keyboardist, and producer who leads this New York City-based trio -- has found his musical and creative voice after years of searching. Before Edison with the Weather became Goodbye Girl Friday in 2001, Sherman and his colleagues experimented with jazz-rock. But there is no jazz-rock on Silver or Gold -- only pop/rock, and memorable pop/rock at that. Drawing on direct or indirect influences that include Elton John, the Beatles, Stevie Wonder (minus the hard funk element), Simon & Garfunkel, R.E.M., and Billy Joel, Silver or Gold isn't innovative or groundbreaking but is a solid effort that shows a strong sense of pop/rock craftsmanship on Sherman's part. This 37-minute disc also shows how vital the piano (or electric keyboards, or organ) is to Goodbye Girl Friday; it is an integral part of what Sherman (who handles all of the songwriting) does on melancholy, introspective offerings like "Cold Summer Rain," "Faces," "Mother Me," and the country-influenced "To Be Cool." Melancholy is a word that describes everything on Silver or Gold -- melancholy, and world-weary (despite some dry humor on occasion). Sherman finds little reason to be optimistic on Silver or Gold, and that melancholia works to his creative advantage throughout the album.

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