Cary Clouser -
Finger Paintings

(CD 2009, 48:52, Private Release)

The tracks:
  1- Into Thy Hands(1:12)
  2- Donít Know?(3:25)
  3- Ship Of Pride(7:13)
  4- Precious(9:05)
  5- Have You Heard?(2:48)
  6- Itís Time(5:10)
  7- Shine...The Pretentious One(5:10)
  8- Dark 1st Impression(3:28)
  9- Darker 2nd Impression(1:20)
Precious Edit Mix:
11- Bright Morning Sun(3:53)
12- Life Lessons(3:00)
13- Home Again(2:15)

Cary Clouser Website        samples       

When the members of Yes had to find a replacement for Jon Anderson, they chose to use Benoit David from Mystery, but instead they could have picked Cary Clouser. On his demo CD Finger Paintings, you might think that Jon Anderson did all the lead vocals, but itís Cary himself, who has the same kind of beautiful voice as Mr. Anderson singing.† Music wise, the songs on Finger Paintings move towards the musical style of Yes or Jon Anderson solo. However when you play the first track Into Thy Hands you might not expect † the rest of the CD to be in the vein of the names I mention. The opening tune sounds like a full classical orchestra, but what we hear is all performed on† keyboards played by Cary himself. But thatís not the only musical instrument that he has laid his hands on during the recordings of this release. You might call him a multi instrumentalist because he has almost touched all the instruments on this record himself. He is a kind of Robin Armstrong or Paul Cusick † who have also recently released† brilliant albums on which they† played almost everything themselves. There are some brilliant sounds on this CD † from time to time. Thanks to the help of some guest musicians such as Dylan Howe (son of Steve Howe) on drums, Brett Kull (Echolyn) on guitar, Damon Shulman (family of the Shulman brothers who played in Gentle Giant) on guitar and drummers Mike Sorge and Brandon Rotella he has managed to deliver a product that can measure with most other prog releases nowadays. What you get are† real songs with a strong melody, similar to how Supertramp wrote their songs in the seventies . There are some fine guitar and synthesizer solos sections on this recording which are very pleasing. The flute played by Mr Clouser himself gives the music an obvious turn into the musical direction of Jethro Tull. Towards the end of the album the classical touch returns into the music on the songs Dark 1st and 2nd Impression. The sound of the grand piano on those compositions made me think about Chopin or Satie. † After the classical connection he returns with a couple of tunes, which we also could hear at the start of the album. He has called it the Precious Edit Mix. It is the same song as track four but this time he divided it into three different pieces with also different titles. Those tunes are probably the best parts on Finger Paintings. They kept into my head for a very long time after I† played them. Hopefully more people will hear this fine release. Itís too bad that this is only a demo CD because he deserves it to release an official album. Maybe this positive review will help him to get into the spotlight were he belongs. For more info about Cary Clouser and his wonderful music, please look at his website.

*** Henri Strik (edited by Melody Oakley)

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