- Nomination: Best Pop Instrumental Album
And now for something completely different. This is one of those glorious moments when I've never heard of the artist, let alone heard a song. And, if you followed my 2012 Grammy posts, you'll notice that a lot of great things were introduced to the ears in this category.
No bio is provided on this artist on Spotify, but I don't want to dig much deeper. This is an instance I think it's time for the music to speak for itself.
Title track's up first. "Runbadoodle" welcomes us in with a hefty drum beat and violin taking the lead. Oh my… this is something really special. I mean, it moves like a pop song, but plays like an orchestra. It's gorgeous and a rock number all at once. If this is what we're in for the entire album, I'm really going to be falling in love throughout the journey.
"My Ballad Days" naturally takes everything down into a romantic tone (I mean, look at the title). It's still largely string based, as I'm guessing that's Arun's primary instrument of choice. But there's also this fantastically hot beat throughout the backing that demands a dance along the way. This is one that's going to reach into your heart, no matter how broken it is, and make you into a sincere believer. Oh, and there's some Spanish thrown in for good hot measure.
Now is about where my interest teeters out. I mean, "Prance" is still beautiful, don't get me wrong. But don't give me a new track with a new name if it's really just a continuation of the one prior. If you want a long composition, then write one. Otherwise, don't tease. It's just not polite.
"Rock and Rigmarole" takes it sort of back to being something different, with a fuller band sound driving some great music. As everyone gets into the more flowing sound, you can feel a synergy amongst the players. It becomes something special again. There's always a beauty in a Spanish guitar laying playful and sensual lines over a full and even sound of a band. Then he brings in this rock guitar that just throw everything for a loop in a wonderfully sweet and rough direction.
"The Violin Song" is, obviously, led by a strong violin. It maintains the Spanish beat and rhythms of course, even to a point that almost over-powers that very violin, but I suppose they're all working together in the end. Sorry folks, it's been a while since I've done a fully instrumental album and it's tough to find a ton of different things to say.
Well "Fireflies" certainly picks the beat up a bit. At least there's something to move around to here, even with a steady beat to get going to. I'm at least grooving a little bit in my chair here at the local Starbucks. Instrumental stuff is hard because it can get very repetitive, even within one song if not an entire album. Tough times man.
"Blue Sky Happiness, Pt. 1" is in fact a part one of two track. We're not teased with two tracks that are supposedly different but sound like they should be one piece. This first part is very serious, with lots of flourishes of sound just carrying it through. "Blue Sky Happiness, Pt. II" continues it, this time bringing in some sort of conflict to the story, moving the beat just a little more along the way. This, in my mind, is where the fight and struggle might happen, as someone wants someone else for some reason. Enjoying the vague nature of this? Me too. Now I'm just waiting out these last three minutes for the conclusion.
Oh shit, Pinterest took over my attention/life and I almost missed "Sleep Town" completely. To be honest, it sounds like a guitar lesson with the student playing that little steady bit underneath and the teacher above them, playing the more impressive little flourishes to show them what they'll possibly be learning as time goes on and they put more work in. Bravo, bravo. Practice more and you too can be nominated for a Grammy!
"Wanderlust In Keys" is yet another slow one that could probably be really nice late at night. Oh, wait. Shut up Janelle. There's a Jazz beat that comes in around the 20-30 second mark that takes this whole thing in a new direction with just the snapping of some fingers. Hm, okay, this is a little more interesting of an approach! It even picks up more as the first minute passes and we begin to get something really special to groove to for the remaining time!
"Rhythm of the Sun" is a nice closer. It's shorter than the rest and keeps your feet tapping all the way to the end of things. It's sweet and basically gives every instrument the chance to shine a little bit while finishing up strong as a band.
Added to My Playlist:
- "My Ballad Days"
- "Rock and Rigmarole"
- "Wanderlust In Keys"
A severe lack of videos on this one - my apologies. But that's sort of to be expected on an instrumental album, right? Heh. Anywhos, hopefully you clicked on that opening Spotify link and were happily listening, it not doing a salsa dance, along with it. A really great album overall, with definite high points and not many lows. Just a lot to handle all in one sitting.