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Melvin Alan Album "Wonderful Life"
November 2, 2017
"Wonderful Life" is a foray into Melvin Alan's consciousness, and provides an enchantingly introspective look at the human condition and its contrasts and paradoxes. The story unfolds as a 12-track alt-rock LP - a 4 piece consisting of Corey Curtis (bass), Alvaro Rojas (guitar), Sam Cartwright (drums/percussion), Tyson Nelson (keyboards) and last but not least: Melvin Alan on vocal duties. The album was produced and recorded by Eric Mosher (AC/DC, Nickelback, Keith Urban) in the legendary Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, BC.
Track one entitled 'Ragged Mind' reels the listener in right from the start, with a catchy, yet sullen vocal line that meanders atop a bouncy swung groove and beautifully strummed chordal progressions. It's a strong opener, and does a fantastic job of setting the tone for what sets up to be a phenomenal 12 track album.
'Down on Your Knees' illustrates Melvin Alan's ear for carving out ballads that get under your skin. Riddled with subtleties and nuances in the instrumentation, the track cradles the listener through its peaks and troughs - a delightful track that simply begs you to hit the replay button.
'Wonderful Life' is much more than just a collection of songs out of Melvin Alan's repertoire. It is a cohesive, flowing entity that exuberates craftsmanship, attention-to-detail and dynamism. A personal favourite of ours is 'Where Are You?'. The airy, reverb-drenched guitars carry a spellbinding weight of emotion, and coupled with Melvin's powerful vocals the track simply beats you down into submission, coercing the listener to let the harmonies and tones wash them away. The track builds and builds, with a saturated drumline over a soaring guitar solo that takes the listening experience above the clouds.
'I Fall For You' easily lands a firm place in our daily rotation, for its strong nod to the era of power-pop that is quite reminiscent of Tears For Fears and Depeche Mode. It's one of the more sensual songs on the album, and in true Melvin Alan fashion, it employs a strong contrasting energy between sections that allows the hook to appear larger than life when it explodes into the chorus. This here is songwriting magic!
Not one to shy away from a bit of the good ol' blues, 'One Last Story' delivers an authentic experience that is full of spice and flavour. The album is as dynamic as it is colourful, and is testament to Melvin Alan's ability to weave in a diverse set of influences that include the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Tears For Fears, Van Morrison and Pink Floyd to name a few.
Overall the album breathes with a cool sensitivity and ease, and is full of feel, changing moods, variety and excitement-as witnessed by the bouncy Wonderful Life with its anthemic choruses. Its subtleties are engaging and keep the listener hooked with its charismatic allure, driven by the intricate instrumentation and stellar vocal performances. If this album is anything to go by, we are more than keen to hear what Melvin Alan has in store for us next.
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