Music review

Pittsburgh native Anthony Rankin’s “Love Elektrik” is eclectic power pop

Nashville’s Anthony Rankin has released his latest EP, Love Elektrik, on September 3rd. Give these four power-tracks a listen if you like to dance to hip-moving pop music and you’re not afraid of having a good time under an influence or two – whether it be romance or whiskey. His soaring vocals match up perfectly with steady beats and soulful breakdowns. Rankin makes his music for everyone. “They could be 80 years old or a junior with no date to the prom. I strive to write music for those people, who have really deep feelings they can’t get away from (because that’s me, too).” Honest, bold, and full of a dreamer’s spirit, Rankin is sure to be heard everywhere from club dance floors to your girlfriend’s shower, as she sings all the words into her loofah.

Maybe you haven’t heard his music before, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t heard his songs. He’s written country pop songs that broke the Top 100 of the national Medibase Country chart and his guitar playing was featured on popular video game Guitar Hero 5.  He’s played venues as big as the Berkman Ampitheather and First Niagara Pavilion and as small as local coffee shops throughout Pennsylvania, where he was raised. You may have heard him on the radio, at a local festival, during the Borders Books & Music Tour back in 2007 or playing lead guitar on tour with Country superstar Randy Houser. He’s received more credit for his writing than his own music and vocals, but now he’s ready to take his seat as the driver on his own musical journey.

Rankin’s music fits the pop mold very well and could sit on the shelf next to Maroon 5 or Rob Thomas easily.  What makes Rankin stand out a bit is his lyricism, evident in tunes such as opener “Two Glasses” that paints a scene that many an unrequited lover has experienced for themselves.  Other standouts on Love Elektrik include “Name in the Stars” which is a nice piano based ballad that has a moody and contemplative feel as well as “Lexi J” which gets a bit funky while retaining some rock edge à la Prince.  The result of the EP is a nice amalgamation of an eclectic sampling of what Rankin can produce which is power pop in various modes.  What might improve Rankin’s musicianship is some much needed production that does not feel so ‘electronic’.  He clearly does not need to be so overly ‘canned’ and 80’s synthed-out to see where his talents lie, but if this type of ‘Miami Vice’ type sound continues on some of the tracks he will keep himself in the back of the bin and behind the scenes.  This Pittsburgh native has true talent and it will be exciting to see where he takes his many skills as he applies them to his own music and career as his projects come to light.