Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Music Review //
Chris Forte
"Backyard Astronomy"

"Backyard Astronomy" is interesting because it embraces the true form of an album, such as there would have been back in the 1960's or 1970's as a record that would be referred to as such.   This is just that heavy type of album because over fourteen songs we have just over an hour worth of music so it certainly feels like something you'd want to flip sides halfway through.  But don't let the weight of this one intimidate you, as it shifts from sound to sound and overall just creates something between blues, jazz and rock.

At first this reminds me of The Wallflowers, mostly because of the first song having these heavy acoustics.   "In A Funk" is a song which has more of a funk sound to it and the keys come out.  It's fun, like The Muppets, but then also somehow manages to end sounding a bit like The Doors.   "The Thrill Is Gone" is the first time we hear vocals and it's a really well done cover with the assist to LaShera Moore.   "Tranquillo" has that nice acoustic sound to it which reminds me of "Desperado" while "A Lifetime With You" has a sweet electric guitar riff and background organs.

"Quarantine Coronatones" brings about a more relaxed feel, like the desert which always makes me think of Chris Isaak.  As the song drops off into dark strings, we get into that nice groove with the keys on "Rehash Swagger".   "The Way We Love" has this bluesy type of jazz which makes me think about Isabell Mendes and this song also is the return of the vocals, as most of this album is instrumental.   There is a nice piano part on here and that piano and smooth guitar loops carry us through "The Swan".  "Messed Up World" has dueling vocals and it feels like a flat out country song.

The final four songs on this album just feel like different demonstrations of what the guitar can do.  "Covidy Blues" is just blissed out, like the guitars just echo and get lost through space.  "Rhapsody In Blue" is more of a riff while "Baby Steps" has that dreamy 90210 distortion to it.  The guitar notes finally just come piercing through on the final track, which also happens to be the titular track.    Between the guitar, keys and occasional other instrument this album never seems to overstay its welcome and once you get into it you'll feel like you never want to leave.

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