(All Album Reviews by Windhawk)
Project Moonbeam is the brainchild of Colorado-based musician and composer Chris Fournier, best known for his albums released under the Fonya moniker. This latest project see Fournier collaborating with a number of fellow musicians, with Philadelphia based violinist Cyndee Lee Rule the primary, and was written and recorded over a period of three years.
Musically this is a mixed bag in many ways; style, manner as well as quality. The common denominator for all tunes here is a spacey tinge to the soundscape and most of the tunes are tunes dominated by electronic rather than rock music per se.
The half a dozen or so tunes where violinist Cyndee Lee Rule contribute consist of one particular brand of compositions, where the main feature is the contrast between the electric violin and the other instruments used. Drums, bass synths, keyboards and guitar, all weave a dampened and warm musical landscape, in tunes slightly varied in character, mood and style. The violin is used to a greater or lesser extent to provide a quite different musical texture, it's cold and chilling yet highly melodic sound and tinge creating a psychedelic and often alien feel to these tunes, resulting in rather eerie space tinged compositions sounding quite similar in style to some of the tunes on Cyndee Lee Rule’s 2005 release UFOsmosis. Most of these tunes are highly intriguing as well, with the slow and atmospheric track "Depths Unknown" being my personal favorite here.
There's not too many really interesting tunes on the album apart from these though. The slick space rock tune "Speculation" is a bit of a treat, and the new age tinged dreamy, slightly ominous "Theme One" is a brilliant and captivating composition. The rest of the tunes fail to make a lasting impression for me. Some of them nice tunes without remarkable aspects to them and a few tunes that, for various reasons, don't manage to engage at all, basically coming across as fillers.
Many songs on this album also share a trait that might be seen as negative by some listeners, this being that the compositions have no defined ending. Some of these tunes don’t have a real evolvement at all, exploring a certain mood or atmosphere, while others evolve, but both types fail to reach a conclusion. Thus many tunes here will fade out rather than reach a conclusive ending, a trait that might be viewed as negative by some.
Still, listeners interested in mostly electronic-dominated space tinged instrumental compositions will find many enjoyable moments on this release, and fans of the genre might rate this one a bit higher than yours truly too.
My rating: 69/100