Review - Hawkes Bay Today

Craig Smith. 45 South. Here is a man happy in what he is doing. Craig Smith hails from the South, hence the title of the album. His songs, reflect a life more simple than the hectic, cut-throat world of marketing from where he started. This is his third album of original songs that give you that ‘‘I remember that’’ feeling. He has been fortunate enough to gather around him some amazing musicians who include several of Stevie Wonder’s backing band on tracks like Shallow Women and Happy To LiveALie. These songs, which benefit from the larger sound a big band provides, cover a range of styles from soft rock to blues but the main influence is folk. Smith’s songs are reflections on our life, he is able to hit that raw nerve of reality that we have forgotten. Songs like The Heater. A place you could go to when you were small, you sit on it to get warm, to reflect and wonder where all the time had gone. His song Lest We Forget was featured on Good Morning for their Anzac feature as well as the documentary Our Bloodiest Day. This is an album that is honest in its songs and brilliant in its musicianship. —Dave Pope, Ode

Review - Otago Daily Times

Craig Smith. 45 South. Independent. 3 stars (out of 5)
Central Otago native Craig Smith may be familiar to parents and children who have enjoyed the humorous tale of The Wonky Donkey, but his fourth album reveals a songwriter with some serious messages.

Smith takes aim at a range of subjects, including environmental damage, greed and bigotry, his vocal approach as deft (and resonant) as his guitar playing.

It's the personal moments that cut the deepest, though, his childhood reminiscence on The Heater touching on Paul Kelly's expert lyricism.

Elsewhere, there are washes of orchestral strings (45 South), bright pop (Sad Little Girl) and Latin lilt (I Dream of You), all of it heartfelt yet slickly rendered.

Single download: The Heater
For those who like: John Hanlon, Lyle Lovett

- Shane Gilchrist
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