Friday, September 3, 2021

Music Review //
James Ethington III
"Rheacycle"


https://open.spotify.com/album/4X6V2L9xnLdvbpMMllQyOg


The music of James Ethington III is interesting, to say the least, but it is worth exploring.   "Rheacycle" begins with what is called the "Rheacycle Intro", which reminds us that we still need to take care of the planet.   The song itself though comes out as some cross between the Barenaked Ladies and Blue October.  It has a groove to it, though it could mostly be thought of rock with elements of R&B.

As the EP goes on, the songs begin to become more stripped down and I just thought that since it was starting with an intro, that first track would be the least complex of them all and they would build up after that.    The way this kind of goes backwards from what I was expecting is nice though, elements of the songs being lost throughout the EP as if a ship is sinking and they have to be thrown overboard to lessen the weight.

"Becca" is a really fun song which reminds me of something Belle & Sebastian might create but James Ethington III gives it a little bit more soul.   Throughout this entire EP the songs have the acoustic guitars but then there are also the beats which another layer to it.  "Becca", for example, starts off as an acoustic sounding ballad but then kicks in with the beats to give it a bigger feel.  By "Art of My Life" though we are into pure acoustics where the song is just the acoustic guitar strums and the vocals of James Ethington III.

Quite the name for a song: "Sexy.Juicy.Bouncy" is nostalgic as the television crushes of the 1990's are name dropped.   Women like Topanga and Winnie Cooper, who I also grew up watching, are given the spotlight and I feel like that is something which we don't really talk about enough, how those television crushes growing up helped to shape the people we would become and the people we would be attracted to later in life.

"Looking Glass" is perhaps the fastest paced song though it is only the acoustic guitar and vocals.   Everything becomes stripped down by the end and it almost feels as if it has reached a point of urgency as well.   This EP may take several listens to process because what is happening in here is likely not how you were trained to hear music (I know it is not for me) but once it all comes together and you adjust to it, the sounds begin to takeover any sense of order of songs.  This really becomes incredibly delightful.  


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