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"Powered by Rock" Album Review - "Make Time to Make Time"

Raised On TV has been of the best indie rock bands from Los Angeles over the past 4-5 years, and I was introduced to their music by a direct message from lead singer Keaton Rogers back in early 2021 when they were releasing singles for their upcoming 3rd album titled Fernando.

Since then I have had the pleasure of getting to know the band which is really just two members, Rogers on guitar and vocals and his younger brother Kacey Greenwood on drums.

I am going to let out a secret that their mom told me when I went to see the band play at the Whiskey A Go Go on the Sunset Strip a couple of years ago.

Keaton has music royalty in his blood, and though it isn't in the rock genre, it is nonetheless incredibly significant in terms of understanding who he is as a musician.

See, he is the grandson of country music legend Kenny Rogers. Yes, the "Gambler" himself, Kenny Rogers.

Oh, and that's not all.

Kacey is the grandson of Lee Greenwood who is the folk legend behind the song "God Bless the U.S.A."

Neither Keaton or Kacey prefer to divulge these details, because they are by no means resting on the legacy of their grandfathers' music.

There's also a little bit of a more personal reason for these two to keep their heritage under wraps.

After several conversations with the band members, I have come to learn more about their childhood and how their mom (same mom, two different dads) was sort of a "scenester" and hung around famous rock musicians in L.A. back in the 80's and 90's. 

This left the boys to deal with rock star egos throughout their life. So, it is no wonder that the band is named "Raised On TV" when it can be understood that a stable home life wasn't always there.

Their brand new album Make Time to Make Time has songs that touch on the adult repercussions of a childhood that hints at not having enough connections in their formative years.

This concept was actually opened up in their last album Strangers In Pictures. Think about it for yourself. When you look at pictures from your own childhood, do you ever ask, "Who are those people?"

Not only that, but do you even recognize yourself? Not physically. But can you remember your emotional or mental state at the time of the photo being taken?

Most likely not. As we all know, a photo doesn't always give an accurate representation of what is going on in that moment.

Make Time To Make Time picks up the pieces of the past and tries to put the puzzle of the present into something that resembles a life.

Basically, as an adult, relationships may lack as much deep and meaningful connections when it was hard to grow up with anything more than fleeting glimpses of relationships of the adults around them.

Rogers' lyrics never seem to intentionally go incredibly deep, but every so often, he peels back a layer or two to reveal more about how his current life is impacted by his past (not just his childhood either).

If I didn't have all the information from getting to know these guys over the past couple of years, I would definitely not understand the full grasp of what's going on behind the music.

However, I do know the band reasonably well at this point. Rogers is now married and has a child of his own.

This album is the first to be released with that perspective.

I won't break down each track in this review, but in songs like "Just Wanted to Tell You", "The Wonder of Things", "Story Without an End" and "Take Me Home" the lyrics and melodies almost feel like self-soothing therapy mixed with intimate love letters to his wife and child. 

And while the songs are "love letters" in some sense, it is not to say that all things are good. "Some things are better left unsaid" -- a line from "Story Without an End" -- hints that there are pretty bumpy moments in life that don't always need to be talked about to get through.

These songs contrast songs like "Road Dogs" and "Back In the Sun" which are more uptempo songs that seem to drive the narrative that as a musician Rogers still yearns to be untethered, get out and play music, and still have a sense of personal freedom.

I get it. I think anyone with parents who divorced when they were young and moved around probably understand that feeling of never feeling settled. There seems to be a calling to leave or escape even when things are going well.

And if that doesn't wrap up the sentiment I get from this album, then I don't know what does.

I absolutely love this album, and while most people don't dig into lyrics or into the background of an artist, I hope this review reveals enough about this band to understand how good the art really is.

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