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Steve Unruh - Challenging Gravity CD (album) cover

CHALLENGING GRAVITY

Steve Unruh

 

Prog Folk

4.03 | 42 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One talented man, one extraordinary album!

There are some people whose name is still unknown, whose music doesn't cross everybody's minds, but whose talent is invaluable. One of them is this Steve Unruh. A North American musician who has been creating exquisite music for a long time, his first solo album came out in 1997 with the title of Believe?, and now in this 2010 he has released his 8th studio album entitled "Challenging Gravity", an almost acoustic album that shows the sensibility and quality of this musician.

This album features eight songs and a total time of 50 minutes. It kicks off with "Twilight in India", which is a very nice melody where the acoustic guitar begins with a kind of Indian sound, a minute later the vocals appear and start a communication between guitar and voice, the mood is very calm until minute 3:20 when it turns more aggressive with the introduction of drums and a faster sound. The final minute is just as the song began, with that acoustic Indian guitar.

Now I am excited, because "Challenging Gravity" did something marvelous to me since the very first time I listened to it, and so far I could say it is my favorite song of the year. The music is totally different to the first song; here you will listen to several instruments that manage to excel no matter how high or low they sound, I mean, despite sounding all at the same time, you will notice every one of them and you will receive them with your open arms. The rhythm is faster but more exciting. The song's introduction finishes after a minute where there is a stop and Unruh's vocals appear. Then the song becomes friendlier with a completely gentle sound. But the greatness of this song is its richness of sounds and quality in each of its changes. It lasts 11 minutes that will end in a lightning; with a beautiful interlude where violins appear, but the song ends with that aggressive and exciting sound.

"The Ocean" is a shorter song that calms down the excitation caused by the previous song. It is a tranquil composition with a simple structure in the beginning, later new elements are added and the sound changes a little bit, it becomes actually more interesting. The part where the flute appears is excellent, it may sound quite simple actually but it is great.

"Bluebird" is a beautiful short ballad, besides that delicate guitar sound, there is an extraordinary violin that takes you to another place, a moment of reflection. The next song is also a short one, its title is "Fighting Gravity" and the sound is still gentle, this time the vocals return and if you have nice memory, this is a nice song to sing, though not really my favorite of this album.

"The Path to Alhambra" is much more interesting than the previous one. The beginning shows a delicate acoustic guitar, which seconds later is accompanied by a disarming violin sound; the sense of melancholy is present here. As you guess, this piece has a special flavor, because it will immediately take you to Spain, and then you will have a short trip to Alhambra. Unruh's guitar and violin performance here is outstanding.

"Dissolve" starts again with a melancholic mood that later will change when drums enter. The bass sound is splendid and the song as a whole is very strong. Seconds before reaching minute four, the song turns a bit aggressive creating a tense atmosphere that will be complemented with a nervous violin sound. In the end it is an interesting track.

The album finishes with "Reflecting Pond" a song whose first minutes seems to be excepting the end, I mean the mood suggest melancholy, as if it was the end of the road. Later it changes and creates a sensation of satisfaction. The tune is up seconds later where that predominant gentle sound returns. The song finishes as it began, goodbye.

An extraordinary album that can be enjoyed by any progressive rock lover, I really recommend to take a listen to Steve Unruh's music, he is a great composer and performer, believe me. Final grade, four stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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