Freddie Nelson Shake the Cage Artwork
The cover of singer-songwriter-guitarist-producer Freddie Nelson’s rock album, ‘Shake the Cage.’

Artist: Freddie Nelson; Performers: Freddie Nelson – vocals, guitars, bass, B3 and percussion; Thomas Lang – drums; and Nina Sainato – piano and keyboards

Album: ‘Shake The Cage’

Production: Engineered by Freddie Nelson and Robby Breckinridge in Pittsburgh; Mixed by Rob Hill at X Music Studios in Los Angeles; and Mastered by Mazen Murad at Metropolis Studios in London

Seemingly progressive technology that’s considered to revolutionize the way music is recorded when it’s first introduced can often times end up hindering the uniqueness that drives the industry. Versatile rock singer-songwriter, Freddie Nelson, is proving that the enthralling artistry that defined the genre during its time of prominence in the 1980s and ’90s can overcome the supposed technological advancements that have arisen, and become overrated, in recent years. The Pittsburgh-based guitarist-producer is compellingly embodying the styles of such iconic rock musicians as U2 and Queen in his newly released debut solo album, ‘Shake the Cage,’ which stunningly focuses on the natural way people connect with, and love, each other.

Nelson’s dynamic record begins with the entry, ‘Turn You On,’ which features his dynamic and signature four-octave vocal range. Propelled by ’90s-inspired hard rock guitar riffs, the musician croons with a swagger and confidence that would surely appeal to the woman he sings about being attracted to, and wants to get to know better. His feisty vocals and provocative strumming on the guitar are intriguingly combined, and emphasize his heartfelt spirit.

The follow-up effort to ‘Turn You On’ is another ’90s rock-inspired song, which is titled ‘Hey Doll.’ As one of the singles off of the musician’s introductory solo album, the mid-tempo track is enthrallingly driven by his smooth vocals and genuinely reliable guitar playing. Nelson rivetingly sings about letting the woman he’s attracted to know that he wants to get to know her better.

‘Shake the Cage’ then transitions into another one of its singles, the traditionally structured ‘Light.’ The Queen-inspired pop-rock tune continues to highlight Nelson’s tireless efforts to put the spotlight on the woman he’s interested in, and prove his worthiness to date her.

The next entry on the musician’s album is ‘Keep Running,’ which is reminiscent of some of U2’s biggest classics. As one of Nelson’s current songs that would comfortably fit on contemporary hard-rock radio, he proves that he does possess the ability to relate to modern relationship struggles. With the aid of a memorable guitar backing, the singer croons about contemplating how much different their lives would be if he and the woman he’s interested in hadn’t met.

‘Shake the Cage’s next track, ‘Never Fight,’ offers an inspirational insight into how much a meaningful relationship can change a person’s life. In a message that would provide a powerful score to an emotional movie or television scene, Nelson proclaims that the woman he wants to be with will never have to fight her battles alone.

The record then transitions into one of its most memorable tunes, ‘My Girl.’ The catchy rock song is infused with the musician’s unique style and personality as he sings about the woman he loves being smart and attractive. He mentions how despite her faults, he feels that there isn’t anyone who’s better than she is, and how much he appreciate her.

After the enthralling high spirit of ‘My Girl,’ the captivating ‘Shake the Cage’ then begins to chronicle the downfall of a whirlwind romance. The next entry on the record, ‘Let You Go,’ features a similar up-temp guitar, drum and vocal style that was included on its predecessor, but it begins to question where the relationship went wrong. While people keep telling him that he should let her go, Nelson admits that he’s still attached to her. ‘Let You Go’ is a fundamental, but equally emotional, break-up song that defines the unsettling ending of many relationships.

The next noteworthy track on Nelson’s current album is ‘The Show,’ which features dramatic guitar riffs and low tempo crooning wails. The musician shares his confusion over the emotional way the woman he loves ended their relationship, and forced him to leave their shared life. Nelson passionately expresses how he he can’t believe her declarations of love were all just a show. He also sentimentally questions why she won’t remember the way their connection was when she told him she loved him.

‘The Show’ then leads into the U2-inspired tune, ‘All Night.’ The musician’s captivating vocals, which are set against intense guitar riffs and keys, once again proclaim his love for her. Nelson also declares that everything he does is about her, as he once again tries to revive their connection.

The next entry on ‘Shake the Cage’ is the low tempo and Queen-inspired song, ‘Monster In My Room.’ Aided by a soothing guitar, Nelson croons once again professes that the woman he loves is an extraordinary girl in an ordinary world. Along with the up-tempo last track on the record, ‘For Those Who Die,’ the musician contemplates how the world comes alive when she arrives, and ponders how she affected everyone around her.

‘Shake the Cage’ is an impressive collection of hook driven rock songs that display Nelson’s intense four octave vocal range and notoriously profound guitar skills. The musician’s notable vocals and instrumental abilities are effortlessly interwoven with memorable melodies, which create relatable messages that inspirationally chronicle sentimental reflections on the development of meaningful connections. Nelson importantly forgoes relying on contemporary technology that’s considered to revolutionize the way music is recorded to instead focus on his natural talents as a musician, and the organic way people relate to, and love, each other.

For more information on Nelson, visit his official website, as well as his Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify pages.

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By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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