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Rohmer - Rohmer CD (album) cover

ROHMER

Rohmer

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.67 | 17 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The elegant haze fails to stir me...much

While music must be able to stand on its own accord, I am someone who pays attention to album covers and other visual imagery recording artists choose to present. It is another layer of the work and when the cover art meaningfully ties into the musical themes it can add to the experience. The ghostly yet calming green sky cover shot of Rohmer works as beautifully as any shot could at supporting and revealing the feel of the music you will listen to. It is music for listeners who wish to detach from direct interaction with their surroundings and simply take in visual stimuli, hearing these sounds rather than the actual outdoor noise. Music for floating through an hour using your eyes and the pores of your skin to feel your surroundings, drifting on the ambient jazztronica within, perhaps satisfying some distant craving for days of stoned immaculate.

Rohmer is yet another incarnation of Finisterre featuring four members of the influential modern Italian prog band, Boris Valle, Agostino Macor, Fabio Zuffanti, and Mauricio DiTollo. The tracks float along on a dreamy bed of keyboards, piano, bass, and light drumming. Things get very meditative and laid back in a jazzy way (sometimes feels post-rock influenced too) and the songs get fleshed out to some extent by flute and guitar solos, male and female vocals, and assorted strangeness. While traces of Finisterre are mostly out the window, little bursts of my favorite album "In Limine" come wafting back into the room on occasion in the form of the whispers, those parts where we hear human conversation in the background, sometimes audibly, sometimes very quiet and mysterious. It adds a nice element of connecting the current project to the past one. "Wittgenstein mon amour" is my favorite track, with spoken word female voice over piano in a lovely meditation, with nice bass and a brass solo. On occasion, I find another reviewer able to summarize a particular sound better than I, so I take no shame in including those quotes in my review, in an attempt to provide the most useful piece of information I can. These words from fellow RYM reviewer Wago perfectly describe the journey you can expect with the Rohmer album:

"...captures the subtle geometries, the ungraspable moments of beauty that appear and immediately fade away while driving in the hinterland or walking on a rainy day, looking outside the window of the train. Minimal piano arpeggios wander in a pale landscape of reverbs and apparently lifeless metronomic Talk Talk drumming. But feeble hints of life populate the space: the dreary breath of the mellotron, foreign voices reporting distant conversations, slowly metamorphosing electronic backgrounds...other influences are fleeting mirages, emotional chimeras. Faint viola lines, the saxophone, the autumnal sun glimmering in the piano harmonies. They're too feeble an apparition to reach the awareness: the only trace they leave is a spark of lukewarm melancholy." -Wago, RYM

Too feeble an apparition. Not an unfair conclusion. While I love the cover art enough that I'd put a print of it on my wall, and while it is well done and occasionally beautiful, only sometimes does it move me. Often it lacks the tension and passion components I crave and indeed get from a project like Sigur Ros. When I crave "daydream rock," bands like Sigur Ros or even Paese dei Balocchi are able to move me and do something with that mood. They are able to take me somewhere. Rohmer, classy and elegant as it is, only passes the time with little afterglow. Then again, perhaps we all need an album that allows time to just pass, without much raw feeling. It's pretty stuff for sure, I just don't know if that's enough. And I feel bad saying that, because I truly love the work these guys did with "In Limine." A conflicted impression. 5/10.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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