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Brady Arnold - Instrumentals Volume 2 CD (album) cover


Brady Arnold


Crossover Prog

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Seasonal drift

I always enjoy giving the many under-the-radar musicians a bit of exposure. Brady's website welcome of "Who the f**k is Brady Arnold?" told me I was on the right track. Arnold was a prolific independent musician from Ohio (lots of great artists from Ohio it seems!) with many releases but recently walked away from music to pursue other interests. He has admitted that finding interested fans on such a crowded web music stage was a frustration that precipitated his move:

"I'd like to think that I have given the music more than a chance to take off, and to my dismay, it has not done so even in the slightest. I have truly put my heart into this for more than 20 years, and cannot continue to do so without the support of a fan base. I appreciate the few of you that have subscribed for my original music, as well as your occasional comments, and support."

Arnold has a wealth of releases in different styles, from experimental electronic music to progressive pop to albums inspired by King Crimson's Projekct Series of recordings . With such a selection to choose from I grabbed one of his mellower titles, "Instrumentals Volume 2" because we are in the time of year that inspired the music, and I enjoy instrumental albums which come with some kind of concept. As the lovely cover art suggests, this album seeks to document in a musical way the transition of seasons from late summer through winter and into early spring. The music is performed exclusively (or nearly so) with synthesizer and much of it has that new-agey keyboard guy feel to it, which I don't typically go for but in this case it worked pretty well.

While Arnold has more rocking and abrasive stuff in his canon of work, this is not one of them. This is chill music, definitely one to kick back and relax to. Modern, well recorded synths float and oscillate in the earlier tracks with some programmed bass and percussion used sparingly. "Evening Rain" is especially beautiful and I like the way the two "Morning Rain" pieces are variations of each other. There is a bit of reserved acoustic guitar that adds a lovely warmth to the sometimes cold feel of digital everything. About half way through "Random Symphony" throws a curve at you with a section that feels like avant chamber music. This leads to my favorite part of the album which is an ode to the four months of August through November. The pieces are similar but each recorded with a different synth sound and one in piano, which brings another rich element to the sound. (I would have loved more piano!) "Alone through the Winter" is the longest piece at about 6 minutes and it conveniently mirrors the winter storm that happens to be going on right outside my window as I type--a perfect day for enjoying this work. The sounds and the playing feel cold and distant, conjuring images of wind and snow, and feelings of loneliness and being lost. "Winter Storm" extends the cold theme through another track until the album ends with "First Sign of Spring." As you'd guess this piece is more uplifting, light, and ethereal.

This is definitely a niche album for fans of light instrumental electronic music and new age music. Although I think anyone can appreciate music like this under the right circumstances. It is well done, thoughtful, and I enjoyed it. A bit north of 3 stars although shy of 4.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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