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(58:37, 'Id Guinness')
TRACK LIST: 1. Rising River 4:44 2. The One That Got Away 5:03 3. Jade Garden 3:55 4. I Have Seen the Future 3:56 5. Down to This 3:36 6. Cure for the Common Crush 5:21 7. Always Crashing in the Same Car 3:47 8. Negative 4:09 9. The Joke 5:30 10. Beaches 3:55 11. Beautiful Goodbye 4:16 12. 25 Watts 3:32 13. Wailing Wall 6:53 LINEUP: Id Guinness Ц vocals; keyboards; bass, guitars; programming Ledenhed Ц guitars Curtis DeBray Ц guitars Heywood McMartin Ц drums Pat Steward Ц drums Leslie Harris Ц vocals Katherine Casey Fiedler Ц vocals Delina Ц vocals; acoustic guitar Donn Tarris Ц bass, cello Tim Barrett Ц saxophone Lan Tung Ц erhu
Prolusion. ID GUINNESS is a Canadian artist who has worked with various artists and bands for some years. It wasn't until 2007 that he got round to creating something of his own, when he released his first solo album "Cure for the Common Crush" to a generally positive reaction.
Analysis. One of the reasons for Guinness' rather eclectic creation getting a positive response upon its release is due to the variety in style variations represented. Not that this is a release encompassing lots of genres; with one exception we're only dealing with a venture into the somewhat murky waters of the music world named by many as pop/rock Ц highly mainstream-oriented rock music with strong pop elements or vice versa. Besides one exception, an art rock creation, the rest of the compositions are contained within the aforementioned boundary. The three opening tracks stand out from the rest though. They all have art rock tendencies to some degree, are generally more elaborate and textured in sound, and should appeal to a mainstream-oriented audience as well as those looking for something more innovative. Rising River is dominated by a swirling, melodic guitar theme underscored by slick, staccato riffs and layered synths, creating a compelling and fascinating sonic tapestry. The One That Got Away opens with a compelling cello-dominated melody that has some resemblance to The Beatles and their hit single Eleanor Rigby Ц in this case sadly covered up a bit too much by guitars and synths as the song evolves, but still an intriguing affair. Finally Jade Garden takes on a setting with gentle guitars and synths for the verse segments, adds some heavier drawn out riffs for the chorus parts and adds the Chinese instrument Erhu to the proceedings, resulting in a unique overall sound and atmosphere. The following 9 tracks are generally more on the anonymous side of the pop/rock genre, melodic excursions with a mostly traditional sound as well as compositional structure. Radio-friendly, well performed, but neither containing distinctly strong atmospheres nor melodies that make them really stand out from most other ventures into this category of music productions. But for the final track, Wailing Wall, we're served another treat though. Starting out as a slow, mellow affair with some psychedelic leanings, the piece gradually evolves into a majestic affair with symphonic synthesizer textures in the back, wailing soulful backing vocals and dual male/female lead vocals over a rich musical foundation consisting of drums, bass, piano and guitar, the latter in the shape of acoustic licks as well as atmospheric soloing. Guinness is an able musician and talented composer and a fair vocalist too, somewhat similar to Bryan Adams but more laidback and melodic. When venturing into more elaborate musical waters he's capable of conjuring up compelling songs, while the lighter side of his output is a bit too lightweight, at least for my personal taste.
Conclusion. Canadian artist Id Guinness has issued a mixed affair with his debut album "Cure for the Common Crush". His ventures into art rock-inspired territories are intriguing, and might please those with an interest in the most commercially oriented aspects of progressive rock. There's nothing innovative from a progressive rock perspective here though, and this is a release that first and foremost seems to be targeted towards a mainstream audience.
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