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TRACK LIST: 1. Caroline's Theme 4:20 2. Agnus Dei 6:11 3. Believe 5:30 4. So Far Away 5:33 5. Sadness 4:27 6. She's in Love 5:13 7. Sleeping with U 1:55 8. Everywhere 4:28 9. Erzebeth 5:13 10. Endless 4:03 11. My Last Wish 2:41 All tracks: written, performed, & recorded by Erickson.
Prolusion. "Sleeping with U" is the debut outing by Chris ERICKSON. According to the CD press kit, he is a French keyboardist. Being somehow confused to learn this, I've thought how the man would really manage to sleep with the letter U:-).
Synopsis. Get out of the way stupid thoughts! After all, Chris managed to blend such differing things as classical music and Techno while sleeping with U (not you, of course!). The album was recorded with the use of one or two modern synthesizers featuring very good sampled violins etc (I doubt it was Pro Tools). So orchestral arrangements, and there are plenty of them here, sound lush and rather realistic. Despite the presence of a specifically Techno-tuned drum machine, the music has a striking classical feel to it on most tracks. Thankfully, Chris uses a programmed rhythm section not regularly, so most compositions contain at least one rather long episode with pure classical music-related parts. Thus, the prevalent style is a classically influenced electronically symphonic Rock with elements of Techno and some of those (just inevitable in such cases) of traditional electronic music. Although the arrangements are almost exclusively dramatic in character, they are well thought-out and are thematically diverse. Especially impressive are interplay between passages of piano and the very violoncello-like solos going independently of massive arrangements. Concerning particularities of some pieces. While done in a similar direction as most of the compositions on the CD, My Last Wish (10) has light flavors of the oriental music, and the most part of the album's title track (7) consists of slow, but constantly developing themes performed on piano. The sampled female vocalizes suit nicely the contents of Everywhere (8). However, there are two tracks going out of the context of the album's predominant style. These are Agnus Dei and Sadness (2 & 5), both filled with 'cool & groovy' modern sounds, sequenced solos, etc, and featuring very few orchestral arrangements, especially the latter.
Conclusion. While being classically influenced, the music here is, however, too accessible from a traditional progressive standpoint, which is partly due to the accented rhythms of drum machine. Having summed up all the values and drawbacks of "Sleeping with U", I can rate it as a good album, but only within the framework of activity of the figures of synthesizer labor.
VM: April 23, 2004
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