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|Peter Matuchniak||Primary Artist, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals|
|Henry Miller||Trumpet, Guest Appearance|
|David Gilman||Flute, Saxophone, Guest Appearance|
|Jim Debaun||Bass, Guest Appearance|
|Jesse Molloy||Saxophone, Guest Appearance|
|Vance Gloster||Keyboards, Guest Appearance|
|Mike Eager||Guest Appearance|
|Peter Matuchniak||Composer, Producer, Concept|
Posted May 7, 2012
Peter is the lead guitarist for a group I reviewed last month, Gekko Projekt, and this is his debut solo album. So I was expecting some intricate electric guitar solos - and they're organically present, but they BELONG. They don't overpower the music, they don't jump up and down and scream I'M A GUITAR SOLO, STOP EVERYTHING AND LISTEN TO MEEEEE.
These are all full-bodied songs, with styles from classic to progressive rock to jazz to folk, with a variety of well-played instruments, gorgeous vocals, a clean production sound (and some interesting sound effects - rain, sirens, and more).
Female vocalist Natalie Azerad has a sweet voice, similar to Jewel's, but mix in a little Sheryl Crow and a generous chunk of soul. The first song, Falling Ash, sounds Pink Floyd-ish, very progressive, as is the second part of that composition, Rising Sun, which appears as the next-to-last song. (Okay, maybe there's a few blistering guitar solos in Rising Sun that demand attention, plus a progressive keyboard jam, but they fit the song.)
My favorite tracks are Uncover Me and Running Back To You. Uncover Me features acoustic guitar, vocals and flute, with a lilting, playful, Renaissance Faire feel. The guitar on Running Back To You has a smoky, dirty feel to it; the whole song conveys a hypnotically sexy melody and dangerous interweaving of vocals and instruments. Down in New Orleans and Across the Pond are jazzy, featuring some great sax, great guitar solos. Definitely party songs.
The last track, Hippy In The Rain is cute, nice acoustic guitar & vocals, but feels like it hitchiked onto here from another era. My only complaint is that some of the songs have rather long intros, and others very abrupt endings (London Vibe, Sandcastles). All in all though, there isn't a clunker on here; the whole album is a great listen, and it's become one of my new personal favorites.