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(50:19 / 'Heartscore')
TRACK LIST: 1. Another Dark Lady 3:12 2. What Lips My Lips Have Kissed 3:53 3. One Way Ticket 3:24 4. Fire 4:02 5. Many Red Devils 1:51 6. There's Been a Death in the Opposite House 4:47 7. Richard Cory 3:14 8. Kid Sleepy 2:20 9. Factory Windows 1:26 10. Fast Rode the Knight 2:22 11. The Road Not Taken 2:43 12. The Story of the Ashes & the Flame 3:09 13. Credo 3:54 14. The Miller's Wife 10:02 SOLO PILOT: Dirk Radloff - all instruments
Prolusion. HEARTSCORE is a project based in Germany, founded by multi-instrumentalist Dirk Radloff. Following “Structures” (2003) and “Straight to the Brain” (2005), "Many Directions" is the third album by Heartscore and the first release where Radloff himself is responsible for all instruments and vocals.
Analysis. The central concept of the music on this album, from what I understand, is to provide music for some fairly well known poetry, where the patterns of the poems to a high degree influence the structure and the form of the individual compositions. It is an original approach to the art of songwriting, and leads to tunes with some distinct traits. The most common trait in the songs here is the use of asynchronous features. Most of the time, it's the guitar work that provides this quality, with rhythmic, slightly staccato and very often highly asynchronous patterns providing the melodic line. On some tunes the drumming takes on asynchronous qualities too, further enhancing the impression of these songs as intricate, quirky and experimental compositions. The title of this album, "Many Directions", will suggest that there is a great diversity to the tunes here. And although the compositions share some dominating traits as described, there is a high degree of variation as to the styles explored on this release. Opening number Another Dark Lady is a piano and vocals dominated tune with jazz influences. What Lips My Lips Have Kissed explores a musical landscape more influenced by folk music, especially due to the inclusion of violin, while the acoustic guitar has some slight Django Reinhardt tendencies in style. One Way Ticket is dominated by funk influences, and has a structure that would make it a killer disco tune if rearranged, while Fire explores a musical landscape combining funk and disco influences with abrasive guitar riffs. The next 9 tracks are all quite similar in approach, with slick but rough-edged guitar riffs dominating in tunes with distinct influences from heavy metal. The main element creating stylistic variation in these tunes is the vocals, as vocal harmonies, similar to the ones explored in the 70's by groups like Gentle Giant, have been added as elements to some tunes, most distinctly on the songs There's Been a Death in the Opposite House, Richard Cory and Factory Windows. The Miller's Wife however ends the album on a different note entirely. This is an epic, 10-minute long composition, dominated by influences from folk music and classical music, mixed together in a fascinating, symphonic tune of high quality. Undoubtedly the standout track on this release.
Conclusion. "Many Directions" is an album exploring a distinct and individual approach to the art of songwriting, and has many good ideas and intentions. Unfortunately, on quite a few of the tracks the vocals just don't gel with the song as such. If you have a liking for experimental rock music, and if vocals and vocal delivery has a secondary importance for your musical enjoyment, you may well enjoy this recording.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: February 26, 2008
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