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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Omar Rodriguez CD (album) cover

OMAR RODRIGUEZ

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez

 

Eclectic Prog

3.42 | 32 ratings

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mrcozdude
4 stars This is Omar's Second album and his first out of five in the Amsterdam series in which he began recording them in the Netherlands around 2005.Other albums that were to follow in the Amsterdam series were Se Dice Bisonte, No Bůfalo ,The Apocalypse Inside of an Orange,Calibration and Megaritual.

Simultaneously this is the first album for the Omar Rodriguez Lopez Quintet in which most of the Amsterdam series albums were recorded.An important factor to note,is whilst listening to these albums.You'll notice they follow more of a similar style and pattern in comparison to other Omar releases.Others tend to experiment more with loose jamming and incorporate instruments such as synthesizers,drum loops and spacey sound effects.which don't usually feature highly within the quintet,making other releases have a far more electronic and psychedelic nature.

But this is not the case with this album.The songs although long in length seem more structured despite their improvised nature,where there are reoccurring themes and riffs almost like that of a jazz band in which there's a head,solo,head,solo etc.It's with this I feel this album excels,it leaves behind the snobbery of jazz but still gives you the tight musicianship and improvisations.And of course the high energy,experimentation and passion which Omar always brings to the table.Of course if you know anything about Omar from either solo projects or The Mars Volta you've already realised he doesn't care much for music theory and would rather create his own methods and sounds,which do him great justice with his self titled,As you can hear his motivations and expression clearly through his playing on this album rendering him with a completely unique style.

This album in my honest opinion features his best guitar work but that's not to say he steals the lime light.Adrián Terrazas-González,who also used to feature with The Mars Volta up to Octahedron completely tears it up on Saxophone & Bass clarinet.Most notably on the high energy second track Regenbogen Stelen Van Prostituees giving an incredible performance reminding me of a young Mel Collins in King Crimson and perhaps almost to his great standard.It's a shame he isn't playing with the current Mars Volta group as his playing really helped shape and add another dimension to much of Omars work.

The self titled album features only five tracks.The first track,one of which is the albums shortest reaching only at 3:22 consists of Gongs,Tambourines,Reverse symbols with various percussion and effects.Which continuously builds growing louder to eventually,the crescendo of the piece releases you into Regenbogen Stelen Van Prostituees (Stealing Rainbows From Prostitutes)relieving you from the tense opener into something more chaotic and fun.

The longest track reaching 17:27 in length is Jacob Van Lennepkade which only consists of very few riffs but leaves the quintet with endless musical possibility's to explore which leaves a small reminiscence of John Mclaughlin and other such fusion.Omar also recorded a second part to this, which features on another Quintet album "The Apocalypse Inside of an Orange" and eventually was to be moulded into Visceras eyes features on The Mars Volta's third album,Amputechture.This is something you begin to appreciate with Omar's solo releases as there more jam and improvised based.You hear these songs in there rawest form and in a live setting which is a far cry away from the high production of The Mars Volta (Although Omar Produces all Mars Volta & Solo) This and the small amount of tracks could be seen as negative thing from the eyes of a Mars Volta fan.But I personally feel this is what makes this album great and stand out and away from other Mars Volta releases,as it feels much more personal,something which I relish in music.

Overall a very enjoyable album.It should please Omar and Volta fans alike though it's a purely instrumental album.The Quintet/Amsterdam series is some of Omar's best work and if your in need of a follow up,I would recommend The Apocalypse Inside of an Orange.

mrcozdude | 4/5 |

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