Raymond Revel opened up a whole other dimension to his music by making piano the prominent instrument on all the 8 tracks of his latest album, The Living Room.
IT’S REMARKABLE HOW MUCH HE CAN MAKE OUT OF SO LITTLE – With The Living Room Revel showed how much he could accomplish with mostly just his voice and his piano.
No doubt here. The whole album has the warmth and luster of the intimate and homemade. At the same time, the lyrics are so compressed, as to be kind of folkloric haikus, almost childishly simple in their structure – Life is beautiful / It’s also short / It’s not reusable / And you can’t buy more – and innocent in their imagery – Hello Moon, do you see my friend in the night? / Do, you teach him to gaze at the stars / Do, you talk about dreams till it’s light? / Oh, don’t take my friend very far.
Raymond’s voice conveys, in its moans and breathy whispers, an alluring sensuality, but he sings as if he were viewing his life from a great, unbridgeable distance. That “wondering” element of detachment is chilling. To reinforce it, messages of isolation gradually float to the surface of the song, instilling eloquent melodies.
His piano style is not only the key to understanding this uniqueness as a musician; aside from his sensitive lyrics, the piano is seemingly his primary mode of expression as a person.
Revel vowed to strip his sound down to its basic elements of piano and voice. He is a musician whose music, for all its approachable outward simplicity, possesses a level of detail and inner complexity that renders it essentially uncoverable.
As with his lyrics, there are so many paradoxes in his piano playing alone: classical sensibilities meld with the delicacy that he is able to express; the ambiguity between major and minor in his chord voicings hover, unresolved; he can orchestrate complex arpeggios or just play some beautiful open chords.
The sparse arrangements turn out some fascinating moments, with the strings often used as background color that creates lush melodies for the singer’s voice to rise above.
There are plenty of moments of beauty here.
Ultimately, this album achieves something very grand. Is a testament to the fact that a truly wonderful release needs nothing else to make it special. Every song has something unique about it, to the point of making the whole album a grandiose unicum.
Raymond Revel spilled his guts with this album, baring his soul through the music and through his poetic words. Words that swim around in your heart and make you feel everything he went through at the time.
He had a way with these words, with the flow and his vocal range danced throughout the album interpreting each bit of happiness and ached with each bit of sorrow and took you on a wonderful journey of love and hope.
Listen now to "The Living Room," the latest Album by Raymond Revel, available in streaming on all major digital platforms. You can find your favorite one via distrokid.com/hyperfollow/raymondrevel/the-living-room
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