Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 3 Part II

Here we are at Part II of Album Review Saturdays Episode 3!  I hope you gave Part I your attention, some interesting albums to enjoy (and of course the additional ones that are on our YouTube Channel version of this episode).  This Part II is going to shake it up again, as I take on the last founding member of The Door’s latest instrumental album, then move to a very quiet, love-intense piano driven soundtrack, and finally tie this entirely instrumental episode up in a bar-rock meaty delivered package.  Sound good?  Of course it does.  Instrumentally, we go!

 

LINK TO OUR YOUTUBE VERSION
[Mark Kuligowski discusses these (3) albums + adds more reviews at the end]

 

Robby KriegerRobby Krieger and the Soul Savages

Robby Krieger is best known as the psychedelic guitar pop master of one of the greatest bands of all time, The Doors.  Post career with The Doors, Mr. Krieger has been both reliving the music through live shows with a variety of guest singers, and of course utilizing his guitar skills to make solo records of his choosing.  In his own words, “These guys are world-class players—they’ve worked with Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz—they have that great groove pedigree.”  Robby Krieger and the Soul Savages is a trip down the soul and funk avenue of musicianship.  The all instrumental album is true to the form and format with the obvious skill set of the musicians that are employed on this record.  Between Robby’s guitar (as non-psychedelic and pop as it gets) sliding into a funk, soul-blues pocket, and the collaborative on-going union Roth’s incredible hammond organ skills, the genre is elevated and you are the locked in listener who is going to enjoy the audio ride.

Kevin Brando on bass, and Franklin Vanderbilt on drums make up the fabulous funky foursome of the Soul Savages.  The vibe is not unique, but it’s the way it’s balanced and delivered by each of the musicians.  The delivery seems to have a more jazz concept over blues, allowing each musician to truly find their musical take and clever spins on funk with the fat grooves and flawless tones and pace of the record.  There is a stronger element of soul-jazz on ‘Ricochet Rabbit’ as maybe the only track that is maybe not in the particular flow, but still fabulously laid out, showcasing the guitar skills of Krieger (and then some, as he turns it on it’s head a bit) that maybe you might not have a full awareness of.

It is fantastic to have Krieger still bending the strings, and having the Ed Roth tickling the ivories along with him.  There’s plenty of soul for your listening pleasure, and the tightness of the Savages is represented throughout.  A truly enjoyable record from start to finish for any fan of music.

The Band

  • Robby Krieger – guitar, slide guitar
  • Ed Roth – hammond organ, piano, keyboards
  • Kevin Brando  – bass
  • Franklin Vanderbilt – drums

Robby Krieger and the Soul Savages Tracklisting

  1. Shark Skin Suit
  2. Samosas & Kingfishers
  3. A Day in L.A.
  4. Killzoni
  5. Contrary Motion
  6. Never Say Never
  7. Bouncy Betty
  8. Ricochet Rabbit
  9. Blue Brandino
  10. Math Problem

 

 

Joe HisiashiSilent Love

Mamoru Fujisawa, known professionally as Joe Hisaishi, is a Japanese composer, musical director, conductor and pianist, known for over 100 film scores and solo albums dating back to 1981.  One of his most well known would probably be Spirited Away.  Silent Love revolves around a mute man who falls for a blind girl and the pair communicate their feelings through the power of touch.  Joe’s piano playing is monumentous to every inch of this movie, as the actors carry their emotions in quite a bit of silent facial gestures, stoic moments, and beautiful contemplative stares.  Without the piano, it’s composition, and the delicacies and balances of it, I am not quite sure the movie’s emotion gets all the way to you.  In fact, I’m wondering how the concept of this movie was even pitched to a producer.  Mute means no sound, and movies are all about sound.  You feel this “love,” because of the piano’s emotive maestro at the helm, and that’s probably why he was chosen as the composer.  The compositions are infused with carefully delivered string arrangements within for added texture and the engrossing feel, which can only be at the careful conduction of Joe.

It’s an incredible, truth-filled situation and set.  There’s nothing elegant or over-dramatic going on, and I can be talking about both the motion picture and the score.  However, the balance of it, and the stroke and weight played on the keys definitely relates the effections flowing through the score and the film.  The situation feels incredible.  It feels of love, and the piano plays a pivotal role in communicating this unbelievable “love,”  and the power of touch.  Quietly and emotionally to wonderful scope and arrangement, Joe, has crafted a simple sound to somehow orchestrate that love and feeling to a degree that might not have been thought of, unless you’ve experienced the motion picture.  This should be a foreign language Oscar contender in film and score.  However, the only drawback could be that there is no track that has an elongated time, so it’s a woven concept.

Silent Love Tracklisting

  1. Opening
  2. Touch
  3. The Quiet Two
  4. Sound of Salvation
  5. Hand of God
  6. Confusion
  7. In the Gentle Wind
  8. Distortion
  9. Intense Passion in the Rain
  10. Anger
  11. Incident
  12. Dirty Hands
  13. Two People Through Acrylic
  14. Scarred Hands
  15. Blue
  16. Silent Love
  17. Touch – Again
  18. Silent

 

One Eyed Moon – The Man With A Thousand Masks

And now for a real surprise that we don’t see too often in the new music multiverse, an instrumental hard rock album that doesn’t try to go all exploratory into progressive or metal, or even folk dimensions.  Maybe it has a stoner vibe, but I don’t get a lot of fuzz on this.  However, it is a concept record (you heard me)!  It just keeps a rock structure, a hint of rock-opera, and a tempo and assurance that might even be confused with a bar band.  An exceptionally good bar band, by the way!  The Man With A Thousand Masks is well-delivered rock instrumental album filled with great timing, well infused guitar riffs and solo-ish compositions, and the strongest attention to a continued hard rock groove that keeps your ear engaged and knee bouncing.

Now let’s talk about the concept of Joseph Campbell’s theory of “The Hero’s Journey.”  The Hero’s Journey. Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth, developed in Hero With A Thousand Faces, describes the common heroic narrative in which a heroic protagonist sets out, has transformative adventures, and returns home. It is a useful formula for comparing literary traditions across time and culture.  And it’s definitely useful formula here for One Eyed Moon’s album and the twenty tracks that should obviously be played all at once all together.  The album’s flow is definitely it’s charm to the rock ear, and you can definitely feel the journey, as you enjoy moving to the next transformation.  Now, these transformations are not massive, they are modest flexes in rock muscle, tension and design, and they meld perfectly in the straight line progression of our hero’s journey.  Please be aware that there are tracks I – IV from the bandcamp download are actually tracks 6 – 10 , if you are purchasing download, but on the streaming services that album starts at track 6 (which technically is the starting track, Ordinary World).

This was a cool surprise (wait until you see the band member list) on the list of early albums this year, and there are more albums of One Eyed Moon to explore, so I’m anxious to hear what the preceding albums do in genre and music, considering this really good, late December 2023 album this was!  Hopefully, you will take the journey whether you’re a hero or an anti-hero, as I have a feeling it is good hard rock therapy no matter.

The Band

  • Christopher Moon – One man band here (surprise)!

The Man With A Thousand Masks Tracklisting

  1. Ordinary World
  2. Call to Adventure
  3. Refusal
  4. Crossing Over
  5. Supernatural Aid
  6. SOS
  7. Belly of the Whale
  8. Road of Trials
  9. Temptress
  10. Abyss
  11. The Cave
  12. Elixer
  13. Refusal of Return
  14. Brew of Immortality
  15. Magic Flight
  16. Resurrection
  17. Rescue from Without
  18. Master of the Two Worlds
  19. The Road Back
  20. Freedom to Live
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