Robbie Gennet — Gleams
(Bandcamp no#, 2012/2014, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2018-10-13
With Gleams, Robbie Gennet has produced a set of very appealing sophisticated songs that draw on a long history of good music. I am reminded of such classics as Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Grand Hotel, The Original Soundtrack, Crime of the Century, and so on, along with more modern music by Phideaux and Johnny Unicorn. While I wouldn’t generally call it “progressive rock,” it’s the kind of thing that can definitely be called “art rock” or “art pop.” These seven songs total under 25 minutes, but they all have time for development and refinement. Most of them a centered around the piano, with no electric guitar in evidence at all. Bass and drums provide good support, and strings are used to great effect throughout. Many of the lyrics comment on social issues, though there’s no sign of preachiness. I know very little about Gennet — he’s got a few credits as a guest musician to his name, but nothing that would have prepared me for the quality of this work. This is fine stuff, and provides a tasty antidote to heavier fare. I love heavy music (in the sense of seriousness and weighty instrumentation more than loudness), but it’s good to find something that heads in the opposite direction but avoids being sappy or inane. Definitely worth checking out.
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