About 5 years ago, Tony Lucca landed on The Spotlight’s predecessor “The IndieLight” and was mentioned as the third wheel to a SoCal indie pop/rock singer-songwriter triumvirate that had Curtis Peoples and Keaton Simons in the no. 1 and 2 holes. Well since that time, he has continued to build up his fanbase, evolve his music, culminating in what looks to be a life-changing stint on the NBC hit show “The Voice,” where he finished second behind eventual winner and fellow indie singer-songwriter Juliet Simms.
And life-changing and even potentially career-altering it was as he got a taste of what he was aiming for since giving up the bright lights of Hollywood for a full time career in music 16 years ago and he is living proof that you can work hard and get to where you want. And Tony has built his music around an electric guitar driven pop/rock sound with bluegrass, jazz and heavy helping of soul for pretty much his entire career thus far. Until now.
Once again, after getting a taste of the big time on The Voice and of course learning lessons from his coach and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, he learned to adapt his sound for a much broader audience and the end result is a new EP signaling a possible and permanent change titled With The Whole World Watching.” So is the change good or bad for the singer-songwriter?
To be honest, it depends. For his longtime fans (and we do mean longtime from his 1997 beginnings), it might take a lengthy adjustment, especially if they had not watched him evolve quickly on The Voice. His vocals have certainly not changed, he still has that unmistakable and signature slight rasp but the sound around it has definitely changed to a more organic and somewhat slicker execution. That is very evident right at the start with the highly rhythmic and catchy (a new part in his repertoire) “Never Gonna Let You Go.” The next track “Reckless Love” though has a bit of his old sound, although more vocally than sonically as the lyrics seems to be coming from his previous works but like the entire EP, it is arranged in a more slicker, glossier and more organic fashion.
After tracks “Burn It Down” and “Wasted” is the very interesting “Never In a Million Years,” which clearly shows Tony’s growth as an artist as well as what he has learned from Adam Levine. The track actually has a distinct from a sonic perspective a Maroon 5-like feel to it.
In the end, With The Whole World Watching is a brief glimpse into how much Lucca has quickly evolved while on The Voice. While the majority of the tracks still showcase his smooth and soulful rasp, sonically he features a more fuller, organic sound. But it is the track "Never In a Million Years" that may well offer a window into the next step of musical evolution for Tony Lucca. In the meantime, the EP is actually quite solid, although his longtime fans will need a few extra listens to pass any judgment on his work and what appears to be a new direction and focus for the singer-songwriter.