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The Monroe Transfer - Joy CD (album) cover


The Monroe Transfer


Post Rock/Math rock

5.00 | 2 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Wow. Just wow. I'd put this track on a few times as background music before I sat down to review it and it never struck me as anything special. This was a mistake. When I actually dropped everything else and dedicated myself to solely listening, however, it nearly brought me to tears. A bit ironic, I suppose, given that the name of the track is Joy, but the song is arranged so perfectly that it's an emotional tour de force.

There's nothing harsh about this music; none of the distorted drones that often permeate the post-rock and metal genres. Instead, we have delicately arranged string parts and sensitive melodies, almost reminiscent at times of King Crimson's "Islands." This is beautiful, breathtaking music with nary a note out of place.

The track begins with a simple but compelling percussion beat, over which some beautiful strings and piano are layered. This first section of the track have a kind of sorrowful beauty to them, with the melody of the piano and strings consistently undercut by the constant percussion to give the music a kind of "longing" feel. The mood shifts a little at about 3 minutes in, as the main instrument drops from violin to cello and we get some pizzicato sounds as well. After a little while of this new idea the first instrumentation returns. We get another little solo break as electric guitar takes the front seat, but in the emerging pattern of this song the strings return to enhance this melody as well.

The next change is the most abrupt, as everything but the low strings and the percussion drop off to create a moment of low rumbling before the other instruments return for a new harmonic turn. This new melody is a bit darker, and here perhaps our suspicion is confirmed that the Joy for which this track was named is tinged with something else. This only lasts for a little while, though, before all of the instruments that have been introduced so far return to the sound of the original melody. The song concludes with some unaccompanied strings that do a couple of final drones before dropping off to nothing.

After listening to this track (and I mean truly listening; this music needs to be heard with no distractions) I will definitely be paying a lot more attention to The Monroe Transfer. I haven't listened to all of their material yet so I don't know if they've released a full album of this quality, but this sure as heck is a five star song.


VanVanVan | 5/5 |


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