2014 was a pretty good year for music. Transatlantic, Yes, Pink Floyd, John Wesley, and Bjørn Riis (to name a few) all released excellent albums. So when the former keyboardist from Sound of Contact released his album at the end of the year, I though it was just another one of many good recordings that were released that year.
Slight correction: As late in the game as it was, it easily is the best album I’ve listened to this year. For several years, actually. The melodies are catchy. Some of them have very clever and dramatic shifts in them. Listen to the first track, “Stranded”, and you will see what I mean. The intro is clever, and gives a not-so-subtle hint of who the musical genius behind some of Sound of Contact’s Dimensionaut was.
More about the melodies: when I wake up every morning I usually have some sort of ear-worm — some song that is playing in my head. There is no rhyme or reason to it, it’s not like I was listening to it as I was falling asleep or whatever. The mark of how this recording stands out for me is that I have awoken on several different mornings with songs from this album playing in my head. The songs are that good, and that catchy.
Not just the vocals (which are equally superb) or the melodies. The instruments are equally phenomenal. The performers read like a Who’s Who in Prog Music, each bringing hints of their style and skill to the songs on which they perform. The “regulars” on the record are equally talented. There is not a weak song to be found.
And finally, the lyrics themselves. The record is a concept album about a person stranded in the desert trying to find their way back to civilization and safety. Many of the songs, however, have more than one meaning to them. An example of this is the song “My Old Friend”, which hints at a shamanesque figure that the protagonist of the journey encounters in his wanderings. It also has the distinction of being a song about Kevin Gilbert, a friend of Mr. Kerzner’s who died all too young in 1996. It is obvious that time was spent on the crafting of every aspect of each song.
In “New World” you have an excellent conclusion to 2014 and a great start to 2015. The only thing that would make it better is the additional music that is coming in the deluxe edition, due out soon. So, if you like progressive music with musical and lyrical depth, give this album a listen. If you like it, help with Mr, Kerzner’s Kickstarter campaign that he will be setting up to do more video work and the like to promote the album.
Dave Kerzner has made an excellent recording. It is well worth the time to listen to it.