calvinball - luca
There’s something really special about albums that were written and performed by just one person: you can hear nuances you can’t hear otherwise. Typically, you get a good picture of the artist’s full musical abilities, as they play a wide range of instruments to create just the right sound they were going for. Calvinball’s Luca is no exception to this rule.
“Blush” starts off with nice guitar work – I like the deep twang. His voice is different; it sounds pretty good, and fits particularly well with the overall tone of this song. It’s acoustic and pretty simple enough while still being interesting. Three minutes in the listener is treated to this interlude that I can only describe as sexy – the sharps and flats sound so nice here. The tone changes with the high-energy song “Mirage.” There are some nice melodic guitar chords and the riff is awesome, especially when it gets to shine on its own. I like the guttural scream; that was a pretty cool surprise.
“Reveries in F” is a beautiful piano piece! It caught my heart from the very first note. Unfortunately it’s the shortest song, but it packs quite a punch. “Life in the Strid” was jarring after the sweet beauty of the previous song, but still sounded really cool. The guitar kept my attention the entire time; the different rhythms used were so good, and the story the guitar told was so interesting that I couldn’t stop paying attention! I just loved listening to his fingers fly across the strings.
I was afraid I wouldn’t get another piano song, but “Ultraviolet Nocturne” satisfied my hunger for more. I am always impressed when I hear compositional piano pieces, and this is no exception. I like that there was a song between this and the other piano song; it is not a direct follow up to the first but still does a fantastic job of growing the seed planted earlier.
“Teeth Dreams” is gritty with dark undertones. There’s this ominous tone around it even though there is a lot of fleeting, high notes that give it an airy feel. I like how the melody jumps from one scale to the next, encompassing a lot of complementary sounds during vocal breaks. The final song “Trauma Doll” is aptly named, as it brings to mind those creepy porcelain dolls with an eye missing. The piano chords set the tone, Calvinball’s vocals add a bit of color, and the background noise (I hesitate to call it ambient) brings it all together. I enjoyed this song a lot.
I really, really enjoyed listening to the guitar and piano – so much so that I would be interested in hearing a fully instrumental album. There are some points where it seemed the vocals took away from the overall composition, and others where they seemed added on simply to round the songs out. I still appreciate the role the vocals played, though. On the whole, this is a collection of really good songs that I had a good time listening to.
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