Anthony Sobak’s music has several factors distinguishing it from run-of-the-mill fare. His vocals are definitely one of the key ingredients giving him a different flavor. Sobak’s voice is far from conventionally “pretty”, but it’s bursting with soul and rugged unquestionable passion. The miles you hear in his vocals lend added credibility to his songs and, in the case of his new release A Little More Time, provides the essential spark separating him from countless other peers and contemporaries.
He begins the ten-track collection with “Donna”. It’s a raucous rocker and a conscious throwback to earlier rock songwriting traditions. Sobak, however, slaps a new coat of paint on the familiar motif of writing about a female object of his desire with hard-charging drums, biting guitar, and a vocal performance that’s near lascivious. “What You Mean to Me” is a ferocious up-tempo rocker that pulls out all of the stops without ever sliding overboard. The meaty rhythm section attack provides Sobak’s songwriting with a solid foundation and the lead guitar capitalizes on that. The solo during the song’s second half puts an emphatic exclamation point on the recording.
The title song is easily one of the most mature pieces on the album. He shifts gears into an acoustic-dominated mode, particularly the song’s first half, but shifts gears for the track’s second part. Sobak’s reflective lyrics soar even higher with his bluesy voice and impassioned phrasing. It’s a yearning and hopeful look at mortality without ever wrestling with despair. “Two Souls” has a number of strengths working in its favor. The recurring ascending guitar figure present throughout the song is a melodic hook that listeners can latch on to and the propulsive pace of the song falls in line with several other A Little More Time gems.
“Like Heaven’s Wings” has already garnered considerable notice as a single and finds Sobak revisiting the acoustic textures that were so successful with the title track. He blends the acoustic guitar underpinning with electric in classic fashion and the lyrics rate among the album’s finest. No one can accuse Sobak’s words of being cliched placeholders; he has something to say and does it extremely well without the context of these songs.
Opening with a sustained synthesizer flourish means that “Help Me Be Complete” breaks with the sound of its predecessors. It continues doing so even after the song begins in earnest. The steady mid-tempo march of the arrangement has a hard rock slant similar to many of the earlier tracks, but Sobak’s song retains an inherent accessibility that bash and thud hard rockers seldom do.
“To Find a Way” shares the same predilection for synthesized introductions. The remainder of the mid-tempo arrangement, however, utilizes dynamics in a different fashion than the preceding song. It’s a memorable closer for A Little More Time that’s in keeping with the general sound and mood of the previous nine cuts. Anthony Sobak takes a well-established musical style, hard rock with pop conceits, and revamps it for his uses with vigor and creativity that sets him apart from the pack.