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Roswitha

Destiny

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve put this album under “progressive rock.” I’m sure there are those would disagree with that statement. If one thinks of progressive rock as the other title that’s often applied, “art rock,” I don’t see how there can be any dispute. This is great music that features a lot of violin and very complex compositions and arrangements. There’s a real focus on R&B and soul music, but plenty of other things, most notably world music are also present. Personally, I’d say it falls closest to Bjork, but that’s only so accurate as a comparison. Whatever you call it, though, this is quite an intriguing album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Desire

World music sounds open the album. Then a driving rhythmic structure joins as the vocals sing the title of the song. The lead vocals come in for the verses.  There’s definitely an artistic vibe to this a bit like Bjork. The arrangement is lush and powerful. This is quite a cool groove with plenty of world sounds over the top of the mix.

Destiny
There’s a cool Latin sound to some of the acoustic guitar on this. It features Ricardo Ramos. Multiple layers of vocals paint the melody as that acoustic guitar creates lines of sound to accent.
It's Time

Featuring Nat Emmanuel, this is a lot more rhythmic in nature. The bass that runs in this is great. The vocals are also potent. As with everything here, it takes some intriguing twists and turns as it continues. The overall composition is almost symphonic here, but the delivery is not.

Change

There’s more of a progressive rock groove to this. The vocals here are among the most effective of the set. In fact, I’d say this is one of my favorite tunes here. This is really a gem, working through a number of shifts and changes.

My Life

Another cut that features Ricardo Ramos, this one is more of an art rock meets R&B approach. Bjork is again a good comparison. There is some real crunch built into this tune, too. There’s a bridge mid-track that brings that prog side to the forefront. This has some great multi-layered vocals. There is also a tasty guitar solo followed by an equally tasty violin solo.

Here and Now

With Grace Kalambay listed as a featured performer, this is a mellower tune. It has some of the most poignant vocals. Yet, the musical arrangement later gets more involved and powerful.

Just Near to Me

Featured performers on this one are Honey Larochelle and Chris Rob. Piano plays a central role here. The vocal performance and arrangement is great, too. There’s a bit of a soulful vibe to this tune.

Smile

Starting with a ringing phone, this is a cool tune that has an electronic vibe combined with more of that artsy sound like Bjork. It rocks out more as it continues. This is another cool tune. It has a lot of energy and some cool hooks.

Man of My Life

There is more of a groove to this, but the symphonic and art rock elements still emerge on the arrangement. Some great violin melodies emerge later, too.

Connected

There’s a mellow, symphonic movement that’s alternated with a more rocking one. This is one of the more purely proggy (mind you modern prog) tunes on show. It’s also one of the most effective pieces of the whole set. It might be my favorite tune here. There are great moments both in terms of the music and the vocals.

Do You Remember

The vocals on this cut make me think of Stevie Nicks quite a bit. Mind you, that sort of element is heard, throughout, but it’s most obvious here. Again, this is symphonic and electronic and just so cool. Still, it’s got a driving R & B styled rhythmic presence.

One of Us

Another song that features Ricardo Ramos, this is rather bouncy and acoustic guitar is one of the more prominent elements here.

Purpose

The opening to this cut (which features Amma Whatt and Marc Villa) is quite symphonic. Even when it works out to the song proper, there is still plenty of that symphonic element on display. It’s a good tune. The violin really adds a lot, but some of the vocal arrangement is particularly potent, too. There is really a universally accessible element to the more rocking section, later, too. Overall, this is a great way to end the set in pure style.

 
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