Grandbell — The Sun and the Embryo
(Progressive Rock Worldwide PRW 022, 1996, CD)
by Mike Ohman, Published 1997-02-01
My immediate snap-judgment upon first listening to this was "Yes-clone." This was mainly based upon hearing vocalist Renato Jardim, who is unapologetically influenced by Jon Anderson. Subsequent listens revealed subtleties I'd missed the first time round. Grandbell's instrumental backbone is composed mostly of acoustic guitar and flute. Electric guitar makes sporadic appearances, but it's mostly 12-string acoustic that I'm hearing. Keyboards are used in a quite subtle manner. They are all over the place, but rarely do they scream out and call your attention to them. Keyboardist Henrique Kunz is also credited with "programming," and he obviously put lots of thought into it. I was especially impressed with a very convincing harpsichord sample used on "Phoenix's Springtime" and a few other tracks. In the musical world of Grandbell, melody wins out over complexity; in itself not bad, but one gets the feeling that they're making it too easy on themselves, especially on the later tracks such as "Spiral." One also gets the feeling that the album is a bit padded (at something like 80 minutes, it could have been much shorter and just as good, if not better). Still, Grandbell have surely started out on the right foot with this, their debut release. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.
Related artist(s): Grandbell
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more