Saturday, May 3, 2014

S. Carey Range of Light Jagjaguwar 2014

An emotional dichotomy of sound and emotion...
Brent Black /
Armed with a performance degree in classical percussion and a passion for jazz drumming, Carey has made his reputation as one of the central figures of the critically acclaimed rock ensemble Bon Iver. As a solo artist the compositional skills of a most personal and unique vision and voice come to fruition with the evocative Range of Light. A roller coaster of thoughts, feelings and human frailty common to individuals yet presented with an open ended cerebral wonder. Where you go with this release is truly in your own mind, no two listeners will have the same set of experiences.
Range of Light is a meticulously nuanced effort that still manages to remain accessible and focused despite a conceptual focus that moves in opposite directions on a linear scale simultaneously. The boundaries of aesthetic beauty are challenged. "Fire Range" and "Dome" are two compositions with a dynamic tension that captivates without pushing either tune to a mellow dramatic state of pretentiousness. The somewhat manic "Crown The Pines" pushes a lyrical heartbeat without pushing the listener into the harmonic abysses. Carey combines the emotive base of the compositions with a passion for the Sierra Nevada mountain range for a tapestry of soundscapes that as vast as they are intimate and detailed.

The style might best be described as folk / pop yet Range of Light pulls from a myriad of influences including classical scoring, improvisational presentation, and pop based melodies. The amazing success here would be given the depth of flavor and influence, nothing overwhelms or pushes the more predictable pretentious envelope one might expect with a release such as this. Carey's voice is soft and pleasant while maintaining an earnest quality of  expression. Everything works. Listed as alternative might be a misnomer as Range of Light transcends genre norms and exceeds expectations on every level. While a few Bon Iver members assist with this release, this is not a Bon Iver is better!

Tracks; Glass / Film; Creaking; Crown The Pines; Fire-Scene; Radiant; Alpenglow; Fleeting The Dome; Neverending Fountain.