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Ivan Mihaljevic and Side Effects

What I look for in music that I enjoy is creative themes and instrument uses. I can actually pick out bits of pieces in music that I love and memorize because I think they're so creative. I used to listen to Movie Soundtracks for the purpose of finding music that wasn't too popular because it had amazing moments.

Now Ivan Mihaljevic and Side Effects, is a group I've never heard of, like the last group I covered,  Barclay & Ichinose, and if all music that comes out of Europe is like this, then Europe is where it's at music-wise.


The song I listened to the most is off their newest album, CounterClockwise, and called Driving Force. Take a listen:

I like the build up of the plucked guitar, into the driving electric guitar and drums. The lead singer, Ivan, has a great baritone and his words are clearly sung (something I appreciate), which is great when the message of the song in particular is as follows:

Our dreams are a driving force
Of our passion, only source
They should be in command of our life's course
If you don't have a goal in front of you
From my humble point of view
You feel depressed 'cause there's nothing to do

Anyone who knows me knows how I value aspirations and dreams, as they give you a reason to do something. I think it's something that all artists can get behind because if artists didn't have dreams, we wouldn't be doing what we're doing. That's the whole message behind "Driving Force." I much prefer songs with messages that are clearly defined, and that's a big reason (aside from their musical brilliance) that I can get behind it. 

I couldn't tell if the other two band members, Marko Karacic Karo (Bass) and Alen Frljak (drums) were also singing when the vocals broke up into parts, but the harmonies are amazing and interesting. If it's Ivan singing his own harmony, that's pretty epic, too. Sometimes that's the only way to get great blending.

About halfway through the song, the entire rhythm changed, and it was a bit more swingy, with a 6/8 beat, which feels like indecision of people without dreams to me (there I go, reading into music again), but with a beat like 1-2-3...4-5-6, it sounds like someone is making a decision, but backtracking, over and over again. In my experince with people without dreams (or at least without BIG dreams), this is exactly how they are: Indecisive and stuck where they are. Talk about fabulous musical painting!

I always get apprehensive when new music is recommended to me, because I'm afraid I won't like it. This is twice now that I've enjoyed what has been suggested to me. Maybe this is the world saying I need to try new things. Maybe I need to open up my musical repetoire again (I had a HUGE music collection in college!), and stop listening to the same six CDs that are in my car. 

I really can't recommend this group enough. They need to be internationally known. I hope I can help bring them to America!


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