Rick Recht: What Feels So Right


One could be sitting on the toilet unaware, listening to this album as John Stamos, Dave Coulier, and the Olsen Twins burst in fresh from a 48-hour marathon of their saccharine shenanigans, begging you to join in and sing along.

Rick Recht: What Feels So Right (Vibe Room Records)
Take a pinch of Lyle Lovett, a dash of Harry Connick, Jr., a smidge of Blue Rodeo, gently fold in some Garth Brooks, and bind it all together with a healthy dose of Jewish everyman and you’ll have the voice and stylings of Rick Recht.

He plays music for kids, music for teens, music for adults, music for families—music for you and me! Unfortunately, he isn’t sure whether or not he wants to be Raffi or some sort of hip Countrypolitan rapping Jewish mixmaster.

On his latest CD, What Feels so Right, Recht wanted to be himself. Seems he was having a problem with wearing his influences a bit to low on his sleeve. He didn’t want to let his personal musical preferences influence the work he was creating. If being you means being 11 different things on a single album, then Recht definitely succeeded. Few individuals can spread themselves this thin while maintaining a captive audience (Beck can); though Rick may have a very captive Jewish audience, he fails to appeal to the mainstream listener.

One could be sitting on the toilet unaware, listening to this album as John Stamos, Dave Coulier, and the Olsen Twins burst in fresh from a 48-hour marathon of their saccharine shenanigans, begging you to join in and sing along. His songs lack the punch of pop chart toppers but are perfect to introduce the latest festive family brainfuck fun hour sitcom.

His hooks are catchy enough, as they should be, considering some are strongly reminiscent of recent chart pop hits; “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third-Eye-Blind is undeniably channeled on the album’s third track, “This Time,” so much so that you fully expect him to start singing “I’m packed and I’m holding, I’m smiling” while dancing in front of a group of hyped-up pre-kindergarteners.

That aside, Recht experiments more than many artists are willing to and spreads his wings with a variety of styles—including rap. He unsuccessfully pseudo-raps his way through track four’s “Dance” while encouraging, expecting, and presumably getting the live audience to get up and actually dance with him.

Regardless of where his songs were trying to go, the underlying theme is country. What Feels So Right has all of the requisite country songs: a duo with a hot chick (in this case, Erin Bode of MAXJAZZ on track six’s “Give”); a 9/11 tribute song, “The Hope (America)”; the slow (preferably sung live) “Kobi’s Lullaby” (which also happens to be the only overtly religious song on the album, thanking God 15 times); and the inspirational sentimental track, “Song for My Father.”

Overall, Recht is an easy listen, even an enjoyable one for country fans. On this album, he easily reaches his target audience without risking losing them for lack of the strong religious undertone from many of his previous albums. However, even with all the effort he put in to being himself, he is still coming off as being someone else. A brief listen to clips from 1995’s Reality and 1998’s Good Thing shows the potential he has. He just has to learn that what you like influences your sound and that that’s not necessarily a bad thing…unless it’s Full House.

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