Paul Zambrano & Littleuniverses recently released Wanderlust. I’m familiar with Zambrano and his album Death is Beautiful. The music felt like it was almost all Zambrano here because of the similarities to his solo album. There are some vocals which is the main distinction to me.
The music sounds like the soundtrack for an epic blockbuster movie or maybe even more accurate like the soundtrack for a trailer. There’s tons of strings, timpani drums and much more. The best modern day composer comparison would in my opinion be Hans Zimmer. The first song is entitled “Wanderlust” and right away I felt like I was at some pivotal point in the movie. It does take a good minute for vocals to drop but it’s not like they are the lead here. They are pretty buried in the mix and felt like another element. By the time we get to the two-minute mark the intensity is at about eleven. As the song progresses it feels like it’s one crescendo after another. It’s very dynamic and in the last minute or so we get a little bit of breathing room with more intimate vocals.
The next song “Mather Rim” is another composition that feels like it is going for the most epic sound possible at points. I actually loved some of the more subdued moments like around a- -minute-and-a half in. There’s no vocals that I heard on this song.
“When the World Feels Small” is the first song where the vocals felt like a semi-focal point. The composition and vocal delivery is hyper dramatic. There’s no sense of levity or playfulness. It just stares at you, not flinching. The vocals did sound really good but I still wanted them to feel a little more central to the song.
“I’m Not Here, I Promise. I’m Nothing. Simply Nothing” was a much needed sparse arrangement. There's a haunting piano which does sound slightly distorted. The song again is extremely dramatic and really sad to the point of feeling dismal. I think the name of the title fits about perfectly. There are no vocals which I was surprised by.
The vocals really have space on the two bonus tracks which are stripped down versions of “When the World Feels Small” and “Wanderlust.”
Personally, this is music I have to be in a specific mood for because of the very intense emotional resonance. It’s not exactly music I would want to put on for a casual get together with friends or work out to. The music felt like something I would listen to while alone. There's no doubt Zambrano is a pro in terms of his arrangements. The compositions are impressive from both a technical and creative standpoint. I did like the vocals and perhaps next time around we will hear more of her talent.
I think it goes without saying if you love listening to epic movie soundtracks you should love this. Take a listen.
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