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Singularity - Of All The Mysteries CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.10 | 35 ratings

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4 stars In My Not So Humble Opinion:

"Of All the Mysteries" by Singularity is able to stand proudly among the best independent releases of this decade. I'll follow that up with the caveat, it's also the only independent release that I've researched to date, but I'm sure it would stand up well alongside its contemporaries.

How about this? "Of All the Mysteries" by Singularity is able to stand proudly among the best symphonic releases of the decade. There, that sounds a bit loftier. The four piece group from Colorado has put together a near masterpiece on their third album showcasing their musical ability and even more so, their songwriting ability.

"Mongrels" starts the CD off with a funky instrumental bit, that purposely sounds a bit on the disjointed side. The funky dissonance gradually drops to only the rhythm section for a moment before the 'Islands' theme rears it's beautiful visage for the first time. The guitar and keys for the last half are subdued and produce a strange combination of melancholy and joy; kind of a 'this is all that I am, but you know what, I'm happy with it' feeling.

"Smile" is the first song to feature vocals and unfortunately, this is one of the band's weaknesses. The vocal harmonies have the potential to be beautiful, and as they are presented here, they are adequate. By this, I mean that the tone of the singer's voices sounds weak. The notes are right, but there isn't quite the power behind the lead vocals that there should be. The phrase "I remember his smile" is an unfortunate example of what I'm trying to say. In the song, the music stops and (I believe) John Green sings a few notes that are just a little to high for him, he just can't hit the notes with power. While this does add a certain sense of fragility to the piece, I think it could have been done better. Nonetheless, this is a great song, as I mentioned before, technically, the harmonies are beautiful.

My second and final critique of the album involves the choice of John Green's keyboard patches and the loud / quiet transitions. "Smile" ends with a beautiful fade out. The phrase "Who's smiling now" provides a wistful outtro. While still reveling from the bliss of "Smile" "XOT" begins with a jarringly grating keyboard sound, breaking the previous spell and tearing down so much of what was being built.

"Patchquilt is a relatively non-descript ballad. "Kaleidoscope" is a beautiful piece that showcases some of the bands best soundscapes. Guitarist Scott Cleland plays a tasteful solo and the entire song builds up to the last line, "It Makes me Smile" in homage to track 2, or maybe just tying the whole CD together.

Regardless, Kaleidoscope sets the stage for the centerpiece of the album, the twenty minute piece "Islands". "Islands" is an almost whimsical epic about a tree that's been given the ability to think and feel emotion, but not to express itself. In fitting with the theme of the album, a melancholic sort of joy pervades the piece. Throughout the piece the keys in particular provide a wonderful backdrop for the piece. At about the sixteen minute mark on this song is where the goose bumps kick in. Drummer Jamie McGregor hooks up with Cleland and starts a magnificent run that is absolutely stunning. McGregor does some amazing stuff here. Once those two take off, Green comes back in with the 'Islands' theme playing in a different time signature from the other two. The result is a chaotic mixture of gentle chords, running guitar and drum hits that can truly keep the goosebumps going for the duration of the song. This is a five star song and worth the price of admission.

In summary, this is a fantastic album, well worth the price of admission until the last few minutes which are the most sublime on the CD. The vocals and jarring keyboards are the only thing that prevents this from being a five star masterpiece.

Roland113 | 4/5 |


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