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- Reviews: AUDIO CD -


EPIGENE

2011-07-11
Titel / Title A Wall Street Odyssey 
Label Amammi Music 
Web www.myspace.com/epigenemusic
 
Gesamtspielzeit
Total run time
111:30 min. 
Vö/ReleaseAugust 2011 

First impression, visually: a beautiful album. A rock opera as a double CD packaged in an elaborate cover with a 46-page booklet inward, where a beautiful in a naive style drawn comic (by Seattle artist Tom Swanson) accompanies the narrative story.

The sound, acoustically: superb mix, bright spatiality, each instrument - guitars, drums, trumpet, French horn or sound effects - has almost palpable presence with a strong channel separation.

The music: the album seems almost nostalgic; the term "rock opera" makes even think of The Who, Pink Floyd and The Kinks. The compositions of Sean Bigler and his wife Bonnie Lykes (from the Catskill Mountains near New York) is rather a fusion of progressive rock with jazz elements and various stylistic enrichment. In the first two songs awaken reminiscences of the style of Yes or even of a German band of the 70s called Triumvirat.

From the third song, the album is moved in a more edgy range; "The Catch 22" integrates 80's disco elements. "Take Off My Head" combines a bit of late Frank Zappa with the aggressive poetry of Henry Rollins. The sounds drive in an urban city climate, but with "Losing Everything" the beautiful voice of jazz singer Bonnie Lykes leads to the descent of the Wall Street investment banker Yossarian, whose story about the economic, social and political events of the recent years is here the “libretto”; a tale of our times.

Deteriorated through drug problems to the homelessness, the former banker is taken from a Samaritan to the country, where he finds in nature to a new peace and love, that let him recognize the tyranny of plutocracy. In this second part of the Odyssey, we meet with "In A Circle" something that sounds a little like from the Beatles. Well, in fact, Woodstock isn´t far away, acoustic instruments are used, the rhythm is relaxed. A setting of flower-power into the 21st century is jazzy transferred. "The Serpent Mound", rhythmic, psychedelic, Indian, is the compositional and climatic fascinating highlight of the work.

But Yossarian wants to spread his newfound vision to those who still live under the dominance of money and corruption. Back to the city he must realize that violence, greed and haste rule the people, who remain incorrigible. He moves in this regard with resignation to the country again, back into his own soul harmony. Jazz-rock and lightly colored Indian world music make the finals of a remarkable record.

Noteworthy is the apparent meticulousness that connects every detail in musical versatility and talent with current issues of critical social reality - subject and text message, entertaining conveyed by music. May be, provocative structures could have been formed even more experimental. The three Odyssey parts could have been separated from each other even more profiled, light and shadow with regard to decline and rebirth could have been made even more dramatic. But this is a matter of taste. In any case, this work is fascinating for anyone interested in jazz-rock and progressive rock as well as for those with the sense to let music develop into an audio cinema for the mind.


Sean Bigler - Vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, synths, Home Studio.
Bonnie Lykes - Vocals, Keyboards, synth, vocoder


Tracklist:

Disc 1
01. Looks Like I Made It
02. Money Master
03. The Catch 22
04. Take My Head Off
05. Rabbit Hole
06. Losing Everything
07. I Eat The Concrete
08. Brother, Take My Hand
09. The Settlement Of Love
10. In A Circle
11. The Farmer´s Diary
12. Nature Spirits
13. The Serpent Mound
14. My Jewel In The Sun
15. Sanctuary
16. I´m Gonna Save The World

Disc 2
01. Stranger In A Strange Land
02. Colonization & Globalization
03. The Warning
04. Back To The Country
05. The Warning (Reprise)
06. Isis Conspiracist
07. The Sky Is Falling
08. Run!!!
09. To Each His Own


Andreas Torneberg


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8/10



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