alison_albumcover Yes to your first question; Joey is the brother of twangy-voiced piano aficionado Gavin DeGraw. Joey is in fact the older brother of the duo, and brings his talent on the guitar to the table, instead of the ivory-tickling younger brother. Right off the bat, this is recipe for success; especially for any potential crossover acoustic sets performed live.

The DeGraw brothers have teamed up to form their new record label, entitled National Underground Records, for Joey’s album entitled Say Something Strong.  Another smart move by the brothers, as they are no pushovers with their musical talents. Joey DeGraw has a bit of a more radio friendly touch to his voice, and this may be because we are so used to the guy-playing-guitar-and-singing spiel.  Also, I feel like Joey has a bit of a spiritual overtone to the lyrics, for example the chorus in the final track saying “Only God in Heaven knows” repeatedly.

While the brothers have their differences in their powers, I can’t help but say the first thing that I think when I heard Joey for the first time is “Damn, he sounds like an older Gavin”. Down to the soulful timing, and the way that Joey hits the notes, is punch for punch like his little brothers’. But I can’t help but wonder if it’s a Brandon Boyd type situation…meaning the older brother actually taught the younger one how to sing, as is the case with the much loved leader of Incubus.

The album has a very hip, but folk feel to it, and I enjoyed it thoroughly from start to finish, but here’s where it hit the hardest, with two of my favorite tracks.

The fourth track, Sister Mystery, will for sure be one of those hits on the radio that plays till many a fortnights’ end, with a very…how can I say…friendly… sounding chorus attached to it. While not being something wholly original, I think throwing a safe track on an album is smart. What’s even better is that this safe track is still done well.

The second track, Say Something Strong, was the one that got ten times as many plays on my computer, just for its smooth, badass-driving-down-the-freeway feel to it. The near minute of intro instrumentals gave way to a well rounded song about our efforts to be neutral in this world, however futile they may be.

joey 2

To be frank, this will be a hit for people like Behind the Hypes’ own Meeper, the resident YouTube guitar playing man. It sounds like it would be a very fun album to cover, and impress the girls with at parties. Luckily for me, all I have to do is flaunt my baby doe eyes (or so I’m told).

I think the DeGraw brothers made a smart move with this album, and when it drops on August 18th, you’ll see what I mean. Hopefully on this DeGraw review, someone won’t try and shoot the review down just because a cover was the most original sounding song on the album…you know who you are.

Thanks to the exuberant hard work of Alison at Susan Blond, Inc. for getting me in touch with this album, and keeping me updated with these lovely photos.

Until next time my friends,