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(34:52, Jam Recordings)
TRACK LIST: 1. Fruit of the Spirit 3:13 2. Walking in the Sunshine 4:45 3. All My Heart 3:57 4. I Am with You Always 4:28 5. Autumn Breeze 2:15 6. Over the Edge 3:49 7. Through Love and Loss 2:35 8. Rays of Hope 3:39 9. All Our Dreams Will Come True 6:11 SOLO PILOT: Jeremy Morris – piano
Prolusion. JEREMY (Morris) is a US based musician, and one of the most prolific artists associated with prog music still active today. After his 1984 debut he has released more than 30 albums, mostly instrumental, exploring various styles of progressive rock and beyond. “Raise of Hope" was released in 2007 on his own Jam Recordings label. Related reviews.
Analysis. When looking through the liner notes of this album, it becomes obvious that this release has been made by a musician with a firm belief in God, as Bible quotes are noted down as the inspirations for most if not all of the tunes here. In this day and age many will probably breathe a sigh of relief to know that this isn't directly audible in the music itself, as all compositions here are instrumental. The piano is the one and only instrument used, which makes this album a rare experience for this reviewer – this is the first release I've covered in this particular style. And I have to admit my shortcomings in this style of music in general, as I don't play this instrument nor do I have much theoretical knowledge about how it works. My view is from the point of view of a listener. The nine compositions on the album are all of a highly similar nature. The mood of the songs is uplifting, yet not without melancholic tendencies, and all the tunes are dual-layered in part or in full. The darker tones maintain a basic melodic theme throughout, while the lighter ones are used to create fluid melodies or melodic themes. These lighter tones are also the dominating aspect of the soundscape, the darker basic melody underscoring and fleshing out the gaps in the compositions. The piano playing also indicates that the performance here is well thought-out in terms of technical playing; the keys on the piano produce different resonances depending on the force used when pushing them, and these different resonances are used to great effect in the melodies here. Most notes are the result of gentle playing, which adds to the fluidity and motion already present in these compositions and enhances the impression of the tracks as uplifting and positive. Pace variations and structural differences – mainly if the tunes are dual layered in part or in full – are the two main variables used to create individual soundscapes in these compositions. The general nature of this album does make the compositions come across as slightly too alike in nature though; the level of variation is one of nuances rather than more obvious differences. This is the only obvious weakness to this release though, as the movement, fluidity and sheer positivity of the compositions makes this album a highly enjoyable experience if you're into this style of music.
Conclusion. If light, positive instrumental piano compositions sound like a good thing, then this is an album to check out. Arguably closer to classical music than traditional pop and rock in style, this is a release that nonetheless should appeal to both categories of listeners.
OMB: Agst 17, 2008
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