Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May 2007 CD of the month

May's CD is "Transient"by Gaelle. (*****)

1. Falling
2. Parkway
3. Give It Back
4. Fade Away
5. Haiti (Interlude)
6. Love You More
7. Repetition
8. Shape Shifting
9. Transient
10. Rain
11. Separate Rooms
12. Moonsglow

Singles worth buying as singles are noted in bold type.

I freaking love this album. Even the songs not recommended for individual purchase are good. Unfortunately, when placed next to these other songs, they aren't as good.

I got this CD based completely on listening to the tiny iTune samples. I thought I'd like it, but I haven't listened to anything other than this album since I got it. It's an auditory treat.

Each song features a complete tonal range. Each sound is crisp and has a specific spatial location when heard on a quality sound system. Sounds such as rolling waves, crickets and tiny chimes are incorporated with deep bass and mixed flawlessly into the songs.

I told Fayrouz that listening to this album was like the best salad in the world. Each piece has its own distinct, crisp flavor. Combined they create hunger for more. She asked me if I realized I just compared music to food. I said music and food have the same descriptions and mental notations for me.

My example was Texas Blues are like oak-smoked hamburgers. If someone doesn't like oak-smoked hamburgers, they won't like Texas Blues. Smooth jazz songs are like cheesecake and (Riesling) wine, etc. She wasn't convinced.

The next day, I asked Pete his view on music as food. He's a musician and viz dude. He agreed with me completely. He said he explains different songs his band performs as different gumbos. So, I suppose one needs to like gumbo to like their music, but that's not the point. :-)

Cover art
The album's artwork is sufficient. The exposure, focus, dynamic range, depth of field and lighting all work. I also like the limited brown and black color pallet. The actual pose is very complementary to the shape of her face.

However, there are some tangent problems with the wall texture and the placement of her head. Moving down and to the right slightly would have resolved the problem. As much as I like how her right hand keeps the eye in the frame, I dislike how her left hand intrudes the frame edge. This destroys the inevitability of the frame. Again, this could have been a poor crop in post-production.

I'm certain Patryce Bak, the photographer, deliberately placed additional space on the upper left-hand corner for text. However, Joe Lucchese, the album's art director, could have used it better. The red font is lost on the brown background, and it's off balance. Possibly it would look better if the artist's name and album title were placed in opposite locations, but the font would still need to be white rather than red.

Enough for now,


Michael said...

I actually love your food/music comparisons. Describing an aural sensation with an oral one is quite effective.

Mark M. Hancock said...

I also tend to see in scales. During a chili cookoff, the newspaper's team asked me to sample the chili. I noticed they were missing something at the top of the flavor scale. They had the bass and midtones handled, but they needed something high octive. I suggested adding some lime juice. It rounded out the flavor perfectly. :-)