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Christiaan Bruin - Days Of Summer Gone CD (album) cover


Christiaan Bruin


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5 stars Maybe it's his thoroughly modern style of theatrical prog, or maybe it's the treatments applied to his vocals, but Chris - or Christiaan Bruin, to give him his full name - presents on this album a sound which reminds me a lot of Phideaux. And given how hot a streak Phideaux has been on since Doomsday Afternoon, that's no bad thing - especially with the ongoing wait for the release of the much-delayed Infernal.wearing on prog fans worldwide. With Baan taking on the more usual prog instrumentation himself, guest spots on the album are saved for a range of classical instrumentalists, giving this album a particularly orchestral air.
Report this review (#1110742)
Posted Wednesday, January 8, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars I came by "Days of Summer Gone" by accident and the cover got my attention. I totally agree that Chris has a very theatrical style and he does sound a bit like a Dutch Phideaux version (instrumentally), I might add that the trippy jazz sections reminds me a lot of The Tangent too and the guitars and some vocal parts somehow fall into Radiohead landscapes. The string instruments and flute might appeal to give you an After Crying feeling but the piano really goes into another direction creating a more proggy approach than classical.

It is a beautiful album and aside from the comparisons I have made with other bands Chris has managed to put together some really good ideas and melodies; I enjoyed a lot his decision of including a Cellist and other musicians as they give the album more freshness.

As for the theatrical style I must admit that the "dramatic" climax of the album contains an interesting blend of nuances.

For some reason the vocals can not match the quality of the music; I think that the addition of a singer in the future that could blend better with this orchestral variety will definitely make Chris music reach a even superior level.

The essentiality of this album depends on how appealing the vocals feels to you, I definitely recommend listening to the album since it contains great moments that make it worth all the while.


Report this review (#1139157)
Posted Thursday, February 27, 2014 | Review Permalink
Second Life Syndrome
5 stars What does it take for a two-star artist to soar to five stars? You might just want to ask Chris that question. That name refers to Christiaan Bruin, a multi-instrumentalist that takes care of vocals, guitars, bass, drums, and keys on this magnificent album, "Days of Summer Gone". I had originally heard "City of Light" back in 2012, and I was completely underwhelmed. Despite a beautiful cover and some great ideas, the album fell flat with overproduction and uninspired songs. Fast-forward to 2013, however, and Chris has created an album that has captivated me for the last six months.

Chris seems to be the king of beautiful art, enticing track titles, and just an overall feel of quality. "Days of Summer Gone" is no different, as the art is the aspect that convinced me to give his music another go. As I got deeper into the album, his concept of using mostly acoustic instruments for this album really presented itself well and it was addictive, to say the least.

But what can one do with all acoustic instruments, ranging from the standard fare to cellos, trombones, flutes, and so on? Chris has created an album of intimate orchestration; an album that begs the listener to come a little closer. He paints what literally seem to be tapestries of folksy music, except the folksiness is often American in sound, and not just the wonderful European style. Indeed, as an American, I get "Americana" in this album, for better or worse. But not the loud, boisterous America that I know the world detests: No, I hear the quiet, snow-laden country America, complete with dark, starry skies and a good bit of whimsy and fantasy.

Indeed, "Days of Summer Gone" is a grand, fantastical opus of perfect melodies, quiet moments, and plenty of space and time between notes in order to reach heaven. Truly, the wondrous melodies, driven by flutes and oboes, crest rolling hills and soar into dark night skies. They will weave a tangled web within your mind, and you will be humming them for months. Yes, hum-worthy melodies!

My two favorite tracks (difficult to choose, though) are "Cold Night" and "A Heart's Endeavor". The former feels exactly that: cold. It weaves in and around and over your mind, but the lyrics are sad and desperate. The latter feels urgent and flowing, caught in a river of emotion. Yet, though these are my favorites, there are high points in every track that make this album feel like one complete work that was written in a single setting. While I doubt it was, it really feels that way, as if Chris had an epiphany. Honestly, his vocals were my least favorite part of the album at first, but their subtlety has really grown on me, too.

If this had released in 2014, it would be my album of the year. As it stands, Chris' "Days of Summer Gone" is an album of emotional, melodic musings; an album that plays wistfully with your heart and with the corridors of your artistic mind. It will ever be on the corners of your brain, I promise you. Buy it. You won't regret it.

Report this review (#1336424)
Posted Friday, January 2, 2015 | Review Permalink

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