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The Syn

Trustworks

Review by Diane Hill

The latest studio album from The Syn, Trustworks features a collaboration between Syn founder Steve Nardelli and the Swedish progressive rock band Moon Safari. Moon Safari have built a reputation for producing modern prog with classic leanings and great vocal harmonies. That ties well into the history of rich history and catalog of The Syn and is really reflected in this release. This is a great album that will stick with the listener for a long time. It’s both fresh and classic. It’s probably destined to be one of the best albums of the year, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
What If?

The opening piece is less than a minute long. It’s essentially an introduction to the journey that is about to begin. Given that essentially the only vocals are sound clips (from Olaf Palme and Mahatma Ghandi, it would almost be appropriate to call this an instrumental. The problem with that label, though, is that there isn’t that much music, either. It’s more like angelic, effects driven soundscaping than real music.

Trustworks
The title track comes out of the opening bit. The violins in the beginning are beautiful. I love the multi-layered vocals and the sitar. The cut works well from gentle to rocking and back again.
Revolution Now
This song is a major earworm. It is definitely the kind of song that will get stuck in your head. Many times when songs get stuck like that, you won’t like it. In this case, you will love it. It features great harmonies (as pretty much the entire album does) and a great beat. There is a real Beatles-like element at play here in a lot of ways.
This World of Ours
This is an awesome song! I particularly love Steve Nardelli’s vocals on this one. While the lyrics throughout the album are great, one bit in this song really grabbed my attention: “I’m lying in the gutter, but I’m gazing at the stars.”
Something That I Said
The vocals on this piece are especially powerful. The piano is beautiful and really pulls the song together nicely.
Never Too Late
The opening reveals a slight country feel. That sticks with the song in some ways throughout, and gets accentuated in a later instrumental segment. The piece has an especially effective rhythm section. The whole thing just works well, but that can be said of the entire album, really.
Lucifer Hesitating
This is definitely one of my favorite songs here. It features both an awesome melody and some particularly strong lyrics. I have listened to this one on repeat quite a bit, and I’m sure to do so more times in the future. .
The Wheel
There is a lot more of a mainstream rocking element here. If any song is tied to the 70s, this is it. The organ in particular seems rooted in that decade of music.
Seventh Day of Seven
At nearly fifteen minutes in length, this is the epic of the album. The thing is, while it feels extended, it doesn’t feel like something that is 15 minutes long. That’s really a tribute to the strength of the piece. The opening movement is based on a haunting melody. It is sung with so much passion. As it grows out it turns more toward rocking progressive rock. As with the best prog, it doesn’t stay in one place for too long, but rather keeps shifting and growing. There are some lyrical nods to other parts of the album, too, allowing this to tie things up nicely.
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