In 2008, Number One Gun entered uncharted territory as the band transitioned into a solo project with leader Jeff Schneeweis. Speculation rose if this would be an end or a fresh beginning. After two years, Number One Gun was ready to continue with To The Secrets and Knowledge, which gives the listener a creative, talent-filled album.
As a full-time producer in his hometown of Chico, California, Schneeweis recorded this album in between other projects such as Secret & Whisper, Hawthorn Heights, Esterlyn, and indie band Brighten. This spontaneous writing and recording process resulted in a eclectic collection of songs with a running theme of finding hidden treasures in each of us.
The debut radio single, “Forest,” was written with his two-year-old daughter in mind and what she will encounter when she begins school. Excitement, the fear of the unknown, and the bigness of life are feelings one has when starting a new adventure or charting unknown territory: I’ve gotta figure out why the world is so big / I’ve gone way way out way out of bounds / I’ll do anything, tell me how.
“I did this record for me," shares Schneeweis. "I wanted to push myself musically and on the production side of things. Because I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do with this album, I’m open to seeing what the listeners will walk away with. I hope it inspires something within themselves.”
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Music Review: To The Secrets & The Knowledge| Posted March 23, 2010
By Thomas Jenkins
LABEL: TOOTH AND NAIL RECORDS
RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 2010
RATING 4 OUT OF 5
Number One Gun has an interesting story. There’s side projects with one person performing all the instruments, and there’s bands that simply break up. Although these two musical happenings don’t seem related at all, they both happened to Number One Gun. Everybody except one single member, Jeff Schneeweis, (Yes I’m pretty sure that’s the correct spelling) quit the band, leaving one sole fellow to continue the band’s future. From that time on, Number One Gun has released one album, The North Pole Project, and have recently completed another one, To the Secrets and Knowledge.
To the Secrets and Knowledge isn’t too different from the musical stylings of its predecessor, The North Pole Project. The airy guitars, the slight electronic meanderings, and the solid alternative and emo sound of Number One Gun are all here in abundance. “The Victory” starts the album off on a good note, and the tracks that follow it, “Big Machines” and “Forest” are also solid listens. “The People” is also an enjoyable song, with introspective, well written lyrics and a solid message Musically, it’s hard not to give Schneeweis credit for crafting and producing a complete album filled with well written songs all by himself. From the first few songs on the album, it’s clear that this man is a very talented musician, and that appearance doesn’t change as the album progresses. After the first listen to this album, I will admit I was a little unimpressed, but after giving it a second chance it grew on me, and now I can only describe it as a solid album. The songs all fit together well, and although this album certainly isn’t too accessible, like many other good albums it’s “A Grower” at least in my experience, and shouldn’t be written off after a premature listen.
There’s not much that holds this album back. At worst, a few songs can feel a bit forced, and others can seem to blend together a bit too much, but these issues are quite honestly small.
To the Secrets and Knowledge is an extremely well crafted album, and it’s the next step in the interesting journey of a solo singer/songwriter. Schneeweis deserves a lot of credit for continuing on without the rest of his band, and yet crafting music that’s worthy of that same band. Fans of the band won’t be disappointed, and if you’ve never heard of them (or him) then now would be the time. As a bonus, there’s even a solid cover of “Don’t Stop Believing”. What’s not to like?
Review copy provided courtesy of Tooth & Nail Records.
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Manifesto. Click here to visit TheChristianManifesto.com today!
4/5| Posted August 26, 2011
What amazes me about the new Number One Gun album is the fact that everything you hear was written and recorded by one person, and what a telented person he is. Every song shows creativity and art that makes the whole album a really engaging listen from start to finish. Jeff's cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" is really spectacular and really should have been left on the album instead of coming under fire for "content issues."
To The Secrets And Knowledge is an excellent continuation of the new one-man Number One Gun. It showcases incredible songwriting and production skills that rival even the most elite of producers in music today.
Artistic| Posted March 22, 2010
I liked this album. It had a poppy and soft rock feel. "Try It" and "Big Machines" were the stand outs of this album. I wish he had done more though, and I wish the Journey cover was a bit more unique to Jeff rather than the song. But overall this is a sweet album
amazing!| Posted February 04, 2010
This cd is a really great follow up to '08's "The North Pole Project". It's just a musically amazing cd. I really like how he did a cover of a "Journey" song. It's crazy to think that everything you hear on this cd was written and recorded by one guy, Jeff Schneeweis.