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It Was What It Was
  • Artist: Beejae
  • Label: CD Baby
  • UPC: 837101285476
  • Item #: CDBY128547
  • Genre: Rock
  • Release Date: 1/9/2007
  • This product is a special order
  • Rank: 1000000000
Price: $12.55

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It Was What It Was on CD

A decade recording, seven years performing, and after four Rock Bands, BEEJAE is finally on his own. At 23, born and raised in Pittsburgh, Beejae has played all over the Northeast, seen college radio success, commercial radio airplay, raised eyebrows of several labels, and won a local Songwriter of the Year award at nineteen. And although an 'indie' musician, his closest fans fears that won't last after hearing his latest batch of infectious melodies and memorable lyrics. While there is little known about his childhood, friends and former band mates have offered interesting tidbits and stories. For instance, a former guitar player recalls that when Beejae was eighteen, he was to a debut gig with his band that was sold out well in advance for the 1200-seat venue. No one could find Beejae the entire evening of the gig after soundcheck. "Five minute before the set was to begin, they found him... he said 'I'm ready... I just finished.'", recalls Colin Wirick, "I asked him what he finished, and he said he wanted to personally thank every person for coming. He also watched our opening acts from the audience while everyone else played rockstar and hid backstage." At nineteen he survived a near-fatal car accident, at twenty Beejae was pulled from his friend's burning apartment by his ex-girlfriend, and at twenty-one went missing for twenty-four hours when thrown off a horse in a patch of woods in Center County Pennsylvania. At the end of 2006, Beejae has played nearly five hundred gigs, mostly in the northeast, but also in St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. While he has not toured regionally or nationally since the summer of 2005, he says he plans to get on the road by the Spring of 2006 in support of his debut album, "It Was What It Was..." which is out online now and hits stores in February of 2007. On his first solo LP, with backing band '& Co.', consisting of Melle Mel Robinson on drums and Samuel Grumet on bass, Beejae has quite possibly accomplished making an album that will be considered one of the most important of the decade. 'It Was What It Was'... Starting out with the almost Britpop-like 'Alright', and the Blue Traveler-reminiscent 'Greener', the fourteen track album goes full steam ahead with 'Truth' with crushes out blunt lyrics and smart guitar riffs. From here on out, it's hard not to fall more and more in love with the album as it continues to 'Youth', a Green Day-met-Nirvana grind of struggle to stay young and get to where you're going at the same time. Maybe no one will know what 'F*** California' is about, but it doesn't give you a chance to breathe... with it's catchy choruses and soulful verses. 'Tongue Tied' is the hidden gem on the album... The only song without a hint of sarcasm in the lyrics is a straightforward love song complete with harmonica solo that sounds like it's already been a staple in modern music. The Cure-like 'Echoes', and country-twang of 'Eye For An Eye' will both have you singing along by the end of the songs. What no one can be prepared for is the first topical song anyone has written in years that could turn some heads... 'Hate Crimes' mentions Mathew Sheppard, Martin Luther King, Jr., and even Terri Shchivo in such a satirical way that it is bound to get attention. And although the anti-hate anthem is an acoustic song... The album doesn't start to sputter out. 'My Bottle' rips through witty one-liners that compares the first person the person who the song is about, with inferences to addiction, slander, and betrayal. And as melodic and beautiful as 'Fake At Best' starts out, Beejae proclaims 'you wouldn't know real if it f***ed your brains out every night' ruining any chance of a group hug. 'Shakespeare' keeps the tempo up as well as 'People Like You' offers closure before the album ends with a though of what if there was 'Rock & Roll In Heaven'? We can only hope it's all as good as this album... While the album comes from an artist who ran from home after graduating high school to live out of his car for a summer, and has had more near death experiences than Mick Jaggar, the songs are down-to-Earth. This is the first time in a while that I have been O.K. with a musician calling himself an 'artist'. But Beejae is just that-an artist. His performances are unique and innovative, his album actually speaks. He nixed the lyrics in the CD booklet to tell a story... and who knows if the story in the CD is true... and who cares? And that's what makes a great artist... He isn't pretentious. He makes are and let's the viewer, the listener, the subject-take whatever they want from it. Whether it's cranking a song on his album at full volume just to drive fast and feel alive for three and a half minutes, or if it's to listen to his entire album and read the story inside... and analyze what the cover art means. It's ear-pleasing, it's eye pleasing. I could metaphorically hang this album in someone's kitchen just to smile when the pass it, or it could be the life-changing work that opens up their mind to a new way of thinking. My editor things I'm overrating this a bit-I think he listens to too much Metallica and Pantera. --Jonathon Frost / P.U. / (Pittsburgh Underground)