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TERRY RICE...The Dark Humor Demos

1. From My Little Black Heart To Yours
2. The Way I Am
3. Shine
4. This Will Never Go Away
5. The April Song
6. A Sad Song
7. Understood
8. Nowhere Kentucky
*bonus trax*
9. Cabin Fever
10. Metamorphine
11. Untitled

"In late 2003, I've had the pleasure of meeting Terry Rice, a very talented singer/guitarist/song writer that never fails to impress me. Aside from becoming close friends, I've also had the pleasure of collaborating with him (along with Noah Goldberg) with the new Dark Humor material. I've found this to be a great honor to be working with such talented individuals.

"The Dark Humor Demos" is a compilation of... well, demos of Dark Humor songs. Every song on this disc was written and performed by Terry Rice (later to be revamped by the Dark Humor trio for the upcoming album). Although I'm not a big fan of acoustic music, Terry's compositions have always captured my listening ear. The melancholy chord progressions, the truly deep and superb lyrics, and the emotionally-driven vocals... it's all here!!!

I can honestly say that Terry is one of my biggest inspirations as a musician, and he is one of the most talented and emotionally-driven song writers of this day and age. Don't listen to his music with a closed mind; let the music and lyrics flow through you... listen closely to what he has got to say.

"From My Little Black Heart To Yours" is a painfully sweet love ballad that compels me to cry a river of bloody tears. The truth about love is that it hurts; with love comes pain and misery.

The song that always strikes me the hardest is "The Way I Am." It is a beautifully simple love song that hits you on every emotional level if you've ever been in love. During the song's chorus, Terry sings one of the best lines I've ever read and listened to: "We don't need nobody else when we sit here on my couch, we are the only two people left upon this world." You cannot help but sing along to this song!!! It's amazing. You should never take anybody for granted, but rather cherish the person that you love (only if they return the same love to you, of course).

One of the most emotional songs on this CD is "Shine." Every time I listen to Terry singing about this mystery woman, my heart is shattered by her pain and her will to live with that pain. "So even if the morning sun hurts her eyes, my baby, she still shines (my baby shines, my baby shines)." Powerful stuff, man! I think Terry's dual vocal take adds so much more to the song, musically and emotionally. In my opinion, "Shine" is one of those songs that opens up your eyes. I don't know if that was Terry's original intention while writing it, but it surely opened up my eyes. The message I get from "Shine" is that we shouldn't look down upon other people, because we're all the same (as in, we're all humans and we all have to deal with pain and suffering, etc.)

"This Will Never Go Away" is very somber tune revolving around the plastic smiles and false good intentions many people give off. Again, open up your eyes, people! You can't deny the fact that some people don't have a clue that their words or actions bring pain to those around them. "I wish I could feel welcome, I wish I could feel love, I wish I had a chance... I wish I had a chance..."

I think "The April Song" is the most beautifully written composition on this entire CD. "Baby, don't you cry tonight, I'm gonna make everything all right. So say your prayers before you go to sleep. Pray your little soul to keep, 'cos I love you, baby, oh so much... and I know that you still love me..." I personally like the original demo version and the final version of this song better, but this acoustic version still captures the emotion that drives the song.

"A Sad Song" is self-explanatory; a recollection of a failed relationship. "I wanna write that song that makes you cry." The song reveals that longing to inflict emotional pain on somebody who's made you miserable.

The version of "Understood" featured on this CD is more somber than the original and the final versions (which are actually more upbeat). But this version captures more of the sadness of the lyrics.

Terry told me that "Nowhere Kentucky" was a cover of a Sixth Floor song. I've never heard the original version, but I surely love Terry's rendition!!! For me, this song is very soothing to the soul.

"Cabin Fever" is an odd lil' track. The rain and heartbeats in the background really add to the strangeness of the song. I was disappointed that Terry didn't sing on this one, though. Well, Terry whistles in the song. Does that still count? I don't know if it's the rain, or the fifth cup of tea I've had while writing out this CD review, or what, but listening to this song is making me feel relaxed...

The music for "Metamorphine" was written and performed by the co-founding member of Dark Humor, Noah Goldberg. It's a really groovy rap-like tune with Terry showing off his mad M.C. skills! It definitely stands out from the rest of the CD.

Like "Cabin Fever", "Untitled" is another strange one. The toy guitar used on the song reminds me of a traditional Japanese stringed-instrument called a ko- to, haha. But anyway, the backwards masking makes the song even more trippy than it already is with the ko- to sounding thing. It has a child-like eeriness to it. Again, we're deprived of Terry's awesome singing voice in this one! "Untitled" and "Cabin Fever" are more atmospheric instrumentals; music that would play in the background of a movie (preferably horror, haha). I have no idea why, but when I listen to "Untitled", I imagine the aftermath of a war... shots of the dead cadavers out on the battle field... and yeah... that's just me.

So, there you have it: another release from Terry Rice that is definitely not worth missing!!! Also, stay tuned for the upcoming Dark Humor self-titled and remix albums!!!

*review by Joey Kamiya*