Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Music Review //
Mark Renner
"Seaworthy Vessels are in Short Supply" //

When I first started listening to "Seaworthy Vessels are in Short Supply" (which, as a title, I love) I was a little confused.   The first few songs- while hearing Mark Renner for the first time- make me think of something that you would call "light rock" or "easy listening".  It's that Paul Simon feel or maybe "adult contemporary".   Regardless, it's a lot of labels I don't typically go for because it seems too soft and quiet for me, but as Mark Renner sings about going north I think of John Denver and am happy after listening to the whole album through that I stuck with it.

By "Ones To Come" there is a dark feeling like Phil Collins and the electronics come in.   It's strange that this never really happened to me before in such a way, but yes, I was not a fan of these first few songs the first time I heard them but after listening to the album in full several times, it all sort of clicked and now I am a fan of them because I don't hear them the same way as I described in that first paragraph.   Music has that strange power over us where at first it can be such a stranger but then once it becomes so familiar it can take on a seemingly entire different life.

So what is the music of Mark Renner exactly?  I feel like defining it would help shape your idea of it all and you should listen to it and have those ideas form on your own, much like how I wouldn't want someone to tell me this sounded like something I didn't want to hear and then have me either be stucking hearing that or just pass it up.   There is an atmospheric sound on "Cloud Journal", which makes me think of both nature and space, while "Corollary Currents" shifts into dark acoustics. 

"The Heart Is A Wounded Furnace" has these drum machines which make me think of electronic rock and it's also instrumental.   Sad strings open up "These Were The Things" and there are guest vocals- a duet if you will- on "Namesake For The Northern Sea".    By the end of the album I hear bells and begin to think that even with more sad strings and pianos this has that holiday feeling, which I don't mind because at least he's not singing about Christmas and rather just has that vibe to it.

How do you describe this music?  Dark, electronic and acoustic don't seem to fit into one genre together that I would use to describe Mark Renner but I often think about the ideas of nature and space while listening to these songs.   Isn't it strange how in nature, in the woods, you have plants and trees which rely on factors to grow and live which you cannot find in space.   I think perhaps describing music in a word or two (a genre) is a statement of fact, such as land or air.   The music of Mark Renner on "Seaworthy Vessels are in Short Supply" feels more like an idea- something you can't quite put your finger on but have to think a lot about- and I like that.

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