Billband ‎– Blurred

Innova Recordings ‎– innova 609
CD, Album


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June 25, 2012
Although traditionally the length of a vinyl album, at just over 30 minutes this seems somehow brief by todays 74-80 minute CD medium. And only four tracks! So why part with your hard earned cash for this.

Well, if you're seeking INNOVA's usual experimentalism, then keep it tucked away in your wallet - there's little experimentalism here, and you'd have to dig around to find it at all.

So a negative review?


I mean no.

Whatever twisted INNOVA's arm into releasing something more musical may be the same thing that keeps me listening.

Falling somewhere between straightforward Jazz and easy listening music, this still manages to maintain a sturdy groove. It kinda sounds not unlike MICHAEL NYMAN's more danceable edge - angular rhythmic elements carrying a walking-pace pattern along. Perhaps if I were to mention that the musicians BILL RYAN has used to fulfill his ambitions on this recording have worked with STEVE REICH, BANG ON A CAN, PRINCE, TAKE SIX and BLUE MAN GROUP, it may give you an idea of the almost clinical precision with which they approach these charming compositions.

And charming they are. Leaving behind the elitism that alienates people against Minimalism and Microtonalism, this is an album which soothes, invigorates and entertains, while always maintaining a decorum which opens it up to a wide audience. An almost immediate classic sound, this recording reaches out far enough to rest easily as hypothetical film soundtrack themes or reside on some mainstream easy listening comp. along with SPYRO GYRA and KENNY G. And yet I can hear definite echoes of TANGERINE DREAM and curiously enough REZNOR circa "Hurt" or "Something I Can Never Have".

Even on only a couple of hearings, this sounds so familiar and welcome! Okay, so your reviewer is getting towards the Pipe And Slippers age now (somewhere in his Forties), but there must be a magic woven into the structure of this music - it's so MOR, yet MOReish. Nothing here will offend - nothing here will frighten, with the possible exception that you might actually find yourself enjoying it way beyond what might be considered reasonable for someone into a more extreme music style (I'm second-guessing my reader's taste here, of course).

A gloriously entertaining, simple pleasure music. It has no politics, no axe to grind, and will never change the world. But then no music ever will bring world peace or solve problems around the globe.

So is a 30 minute album (32'50" actually) worth the money. Who can say? All I'll say is that they pack more plusses into this short disc than most people do over a far larger canvas.

Hungry for more? Oh, yeah!

Originally reviewed for Metamorphic Journeyman.