‘Burning the Midnight Oil’ album review from Arden Park Roots

Award winning reggae-rock band Arden Park Roots released their fourth full length album, titled Burning the Midnight Oil. The predecessors to this album, Pipe Dreams which launched in 2011, debuted at #2 on iTunes and has remained in the top 100 for over two years. Many patient fans waiting eagerly can now pick up APR’s latest work on this special day of 4/20.

Burning the Midnight Oil starts off beautifully with the track “Write Your Wrongs” which incorporates luscious guitar picking which then opens up to gorgeous vocal harmonies and jaw-dropping melodies. The track unquestionably sets the tone for the rest of the album and immediately wets the appetite for more of that Arden Park Roots.

“Grateful that the Sun Shines” is a good example of the vocal capacity of lead vocalist Tyler Campbell. The track is orchestrated grandly, and the lyrics seem to flow naturally, without ever breaking a sweat.  Tyler’s execution on this track is extremely dialed in and undoubtedly demonstrates his impeccable consistency from start to finish.

The raw and blaring guitar solo from Nick Ledoux on this track combined with Tyler Campbell’s vocal delivery will most definitely give you chills down your spine.

Special guest appearances seem like the norm nowadays, and with the track “The Music” we were pleasantly surprised to hear that a Bay Area rapper would be picking up the mic for this intense track. Robert Green, better known as Spice 1 makes an appearance on this track, which provoked instant 1990’s nostalgia. Working with artists like Too $hort and Wu-Tang Clan and having his track “Trigga Gots No Heart” featured in the movie soundtrack for “Menace II Society”, Spice 1 comes in with authority and totally blows the top open on this track.

The album unfolds and really puts the “pedal to the metal” while at the same time shifting gears to a more full-fledged rock album starting from track four titled “As Long As You’re There” which perfectly illustrates the range and true audacity that these guys hold. The raw and blaring guitar solo from Nick Ledoux on this track combined with Tyler Campbell’s vocal delivery will most definitely give you chills down your spine.

The album ends with a short acoustic two minute ballad “Hair of the Dog” where Tyler sings “Sunday morning and I’m barely alive.” The raw nature of this track gently closes out the album, leaving us with a nice, clean finish.

Burning the Midnight Oil brilliantly and effortlessly intersects the art and essence of reggae, hip-hop, rock, and crams it all in a tiny 12 track package. The glowing craftsmanship of the production and parameters layered thick with versatility and precision make this album truly enjoyable.  Arden Park Roots places another large stepping stone in the right direction towards the road to success with the release of this latest album and we’re very excited to see more from these California natives.

Preview and download Burning the Midnight Oil

Track listing

  1. Write Your Wrongs
  2. Grateful that the Sun Shines
  3. The Music
  4. As Long as You’re There
  5. I Could Never Be Wrong
  6. Jolene
  7. Hey Girl
  8. Stormy Weather
  9. Revolution
  10. When I’m with You
  11. Not A Day Goes By
  12. Hair of the Dog

Released April 20, 2014 • Anxiety Boy Records

For more information about Arden Park Roots, please visit their website

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Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.

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