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Another "Dark Side of the Moon" Album Review

So, I'm a little late on the scene for this, but I wanted to talk about my love for this album specifically. I had seen this album by Pink Floyd for as long as I can remember, but I never had any interest in listening to it since it was older and everyone had heard it (I have hipster tendencies). But one day I was at Urban Outfitters looking through their book section as I usually do, and I stumbled upon a book titled "1,001 Albums You Should Listen To Before You Die" and I happen to come upon this one. I had seen the album cover on countless T-shirts, but I had never actually listened to it so I went on YouTube and heard the whole thing from beginning to end. It was...magical to say the least. I remember hearing the beginning and admittedly being disturbed by all the noise in the background, but once Breathe (In the Air) came on everything changed. I was drawn into to the music as though someone had put a spell on me. I thought the whole track was amazing and it opened my eyes to a new era of music that I won't forget and hopefully not escape from.

What makes this album special is that it's continuous and harmonious. The album never stops and every song blends into the other which provides a different experience than the music we listen to today where every song has to be different.

Speak to Me is actually a great track since it foreshadows the remaining tracks on the album. Breathe (In the Air) is an excellent track and it's one of my favorites. It has a soft and mellow sound to it with great bass and slow keyboard effects. I absolutely love the calm nature of it which was a contrast to the lyrics since they talk about living life the same way and "racing towards another grave". On the Run also has an eerie yet interesting sound since the tempo of the drums signal a rushing forward in time which leads to the next song called Time. This song is also an amazing and interesting piece beginning with the sounds of ticking and alarms in the beginning. The lyrics are also haunting speaking of wasting time and how each moment we're alive we are closer to death. It's a moving piece and speaks to me personally about not wasting the life I was given. This song also had amazing guitar and a chorus of women in the background serenading us and accompanying the amazing guitar playing.

The Great Gig in the Sky is another instrumental song that goes on for a while. I am personally not a fan of this song so I won't say much about it other than the beginning is very soft which perfectly plays off of Time. However intermingled is a solo of a woman singing wildly. Money is similar to Time in the sense that it has a long pause where nothing is said but the guitar and music is fantastic.It also starts with the sounds of coins jingling and a cash register making a sale. In this song saxophone is incorporated giving this song more than just a rock feel to it. The crossing over of genres creates a depth that most rock songs (especially those of today) simply don't have. I enjoy the message of Money as well. It blatantly exposes how we hold money in such high esteem and we crave it more than anything and even though we should do goo with our money and spread it to those in need, ultimately we will not and keep it to ourselves.

Preview of my debut album " Seahorses "

On Where Pianos Roam

I wanted to give a little preview of the album and talk about one of the songs in particular. 

Early on in this process, I spent a great deal of time figuring out which songs would appear on this album.  There was one song specifically that I knew belonged on "Seahorses".  It's exactly one of the songs that exemplified all of the ideas and themes behind this album.  Foolishly, I decided to leave it out.  I did this because I could not figure out the best way to present this song.  Of all my songs in my repertoire, this one demands a certain degree of reverence.  It did not feel right to go for something fully produced with a complete band of instruments behind it, and I felt that it would cheapen its intention and its meaning by making it available on a commercial album. 

Well, as it turned out, I changed my mind, and of course, I did it at the worst possible time.  The deal-breaker was that, as the recording sessions were coming to a close, I felt more and more that excluding it would be a mistake, and I would physically beat myself up for this many years down the road.  Furthermore, this actually is not a commercial album.  I would certainly love to sell many copies of it, but if only one was sold to someone who really connected with it, then I would be very happy.  It is, more than anything, a work of art--my art, that is.  It is a series of thoughts, stories, musical compositions, and feelings that I am compelled to share.

On the final night of recording, when the main vocal parts for several of the songs were done, I said, "To hell with it!!  Let's do it!!".  Given our constraints in time (studio time is so not cheap), this last minute inclusion required a certain degree of determination.  I decided to just record it live.  By this, I mean that I was going to just sit at the piano and play while singing into a mike.  This meant that there would be no full band or rhythm section behind it, and unlike all of the other songs, the vocals would not be recorded separately from the music.  So, even though I knew my voice had reached it's limit after already singing so much, I performed it anyway.    Ben, my producer, just hit the "record" button, and I just played. 

It was about 2:00 am (very late!) by the time we did this.  We recorded the song all the way through twice over, and by the time I  heard the second recording, Ben and I knew that I got it right on the first try. In fact, I honestly believe it is one of the best versions of the song I've ever performed.  Perhaps it helped that my voice was tired and that it was so late at night, but the finished recording delivered everything that this song needed to give---every intonation, every lilting cadence being so honest, with every word and every note nestled upon the crest of a tidal wave of emotion.   

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