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Dave Willey - Immeasurable Currents CD (album) cover


Dave Willey



3.72 | 13 ratings

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4 stars Father would be proud.

This album is a homage from Dave Willey to his father Dale Willey, a poet, And holds 12 'art songs' composed to his lyrics, from the book 'tin box papers' that published in 2001, the very same year Dale Willey passed away. The music written and perform by Dave Willey and his 'friends', most from Thinking Plague which Willey is a member of, and some others as well.

From subgenre point of view, such 'art songs' are hard to be classified. Indeed, RIO enthusiasts happily adopted this album into the RIO subgenre, and not without any reason. After all some of the most well-known and appreciated members of the scene are here. But IMO, such songs should be under the crossover subgenre, albeit the relatively 'quirkiness', at least for some songs, that perhaps will challenge the casual crossover listener. On the other hand, under the crossover subgenre at this site, this music apparently would get much more exposure and gain a larger audience.

As a poet, and not just a song writer, Dale Willey did not stick to a versus-corus structure. Thus the music is much derived from this tendency, and in most cases the songs structure is not 'regular' by any mean. Not even the 'proggy' way of songs development.

Not only the song structure, but the atmosphere is derived from the lyrics too. The lyrics move between humorous, contemplative, and sentimental moods, with a lot of love to the nature, landscapes and seasons. Musically, each song has its own 'differ' from others and arranged for a unique set of instruments. Some memorable instruments are old fashion roughly tuned piano, zither, and accordion, which became Willey's main instrument and specialty, among many other instruments that he rules so well.

Vocals and composition credits goes for many of the 'friends'. There is not one composer, and not even one vocalist here. Most of the songs sung wonderfully by Deborah Perry, but also by Elaine DiFalco, Wally Scharold, and Dave Willey himself.

As for colleagues' contribution and compositions: 'Wordswords' composed by Mike Johnson. The song lyrics remind me an old Scottish ballad with a tragic end. The musical implementation provides a quite but still tension background, and a delicate lyrical melody, accompanied mainly by nylon classical guitar. Elaine DiFalco wrote two wonderful songs, to lyrics about seasons, 'Autumn' and 'Winter'. 'Winter' got a wonderful medley arrangement for cello, viola, clarinet and bassoon. And in 'Automn' one can recognize sounds of droplets. Another well known friend is Huge Hopper that provides unique bass playing in 'The old woods' and 'Nightfall', and designed electronic loops for 'Nightfall'. Hopper co-written the two songs mentioned above and also wrote the music for the 'a Garland of miniatures' song. This song got relatively simple, melodious tune, accompanied by long slow stretches of accordion, and harmonium.

However, as much as good and valuable the friends help is, the one who stand behind the album concept and vision is Dave Willey himself, with a set of excellent songs that reflect the lyrics diverse moods and structures. There are some poprock songs, homage to old music (Mitch), and old American country in a new interpretation (the Conservatives). Many instruments are involved here, and Dave Willey plays on most of them. Some of the songs are very short, but everything seems to occur in this shortness. Others are longer, takes its time for a little bit improvising and environment designe by the unique instrumentation.

Willey's 'poprock' songs are 'Too much lights' and 'I could eat you up'. 'Too much lights' holds an excellent duo vocalization, sort of call and response by Deborah Perry and Elaine DiFalco, with very intriguing harmonies and scale changes. 'I could eat you up' is a modern adaptation of the 'Hansel and Gretel' tale. A kind of 'chase' song, with a frantic (and brilliant) guitar solo from Mike Johnson, and energetic drums from Dave Kerman.

In today realm and way of life, there are so many 'instance' things, Instance music... Even qualified music or higher culture in general, will probably sink in our too-confused, always loaded-by-stimulations minds, and regretfully won't be remembered years from today (years? hardly weeks). Still, I feel that this collection of songs should and will remain as 'classics' of our time. At least in my mind. I hope yours as well.

ShW1 | 4/5 |


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