The self-promotional tagline “Atmospheric Rock Instrumentals for a New Age” pretty much sums this project up. It’s new age for rock fans. Call it Muzak for baby-boomers. Gee, that may sound insulting, but that’s essentially what new age is, right? I could see this being played in bookstores and café’s all over the country.
The disc opens with a cover of Pink Floyd’s spacerock classic, “Breathe”. The tempo’s picked up ever so slightly and the ambiance is a bit more stately, focusing on the instruments rather than on the overall atmosphere. Sort of like a Joe Satriani production. In fact, there are a lot of comparisons to be drawn with the mellower side of Satriani all over this CD.
The rest of the album is all-original low-key, mostly blues-based rock instrumentals. Polished and competent, but it seems held at arms length by the production. There isn’t a lot of adventuresome writing or playing here, yet the lush sound and brimming with portent and heavy use of atmospheric synth pads makes this album feel like comfort food. It feels very familiar and at times, satisfying.
There’s a ton of nods to countless arty 70s bands like Jethro Tull, Traffic, Jeff Beck and Genesis, but the whole thing has that same sort of languid pacing grey hair/ponytail 52-year-old classic-rock fans would find satisfying.
I have a mid-90s CD from a guitar player named Robin Crow that is very similar to this album.
It doesn’t suck by any stretch of the imagination, but at the same time, I’m not terribly inspired or moved either. They say in the press release that it’s music for driving, but I see it more as music to fold laundry to.
3 out of 5