The above mentioned albums came in at the same time. Because of this I describe them both in one review. So practical, right?
Christiaan Bruin is well known in the prog scene in the Netherlands. He is very versatile and does many projects and bands at the same time. He is plays in Sky Architect for example, a Dutch prog group.
With Inventions he takes the listener on a completely different musical journey than we are used to. At Meta he plays all music himself, except for the violin that is played by Laura ten Voorde. At Curiosity he has several guests, Anne Bakker on vocals, Madeleine Brozek on violin, Maartje Dekker on vocals, Ruben van Kruisum on cello and Adrian Jones on guitar.
Meta starts with the title track. You hear some computer bleeps and gentle piano sounds. An atmospheric start. The song takes the time and after two minutes you hear louder piano, and after a while you hear the drums come in and become louder and louder. Violins accompany it all and the first instrumental song ends bombastically. A really nice first song that makes you curious for the rest to come. Touch Of Rain, a song that touches you because of the emotional singing of Chris. At two third of the song you will hear a beautiful guitar. Oceania sounds like a rippling ocean, quiet then builds up. In The Turing Test Chris sings a bit sad and Into The Light is a nice song, again a bit quiet in building up. If The Dream Sequence grabs you then it is an atmospheric song, if not you will find it boring. In One Small Step Chris sings more aggressively, it feels like a victory. Only the end is a pity because of the fade out. A Place Where We Belong opens cheerfully and original, if Chris sings more aggressively he convinces you, otherwise not. The classical arrangements are done nicely. In the closing The Space Between you can let go of your thoughts and enjoy the music and the feelings that come to mind. Sometimes I do not like the monotone vocals of Chris. There would have been more if he had chosen more variety in his singing. The whole extraterrestrial theme sounds good.
Then we head over to Curiosity, the album that he released in 2018. I will be short in my description. The Penrose Steps is the only track that touches me, where I can feel the atmosphere. That in combination with the beautiful violin parts makes it a really beautiful song. The rest of the songs irritate me because of the monotone singing of Chris and the lack of spontaneity. Too many songs are similar to each other, I thought Chris had more inspiration for variety. Maybe I really do not understand the whole concept. I really, really hope that I am the only one and that you, reader, do understand the meaning of Curiosity.
*** Meta / ** Curiosity - Michel Stolk (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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