Friday, July 15, 2016

Stan Walker-Inventing Myself (2013)


Then thinking about the many young talents who are making a big name for themselves in the popular music mainstream further, me and my ears returned our attention back to the dynamite soulicious voice of seventh season "Australian Idol" winner, Stan Walker. "Inventing Myself"—one of his two newest albums which I hadn't yet taken the time to indulge in. How coincidental that it's titled as such, considering that since it's been a while since my last tuning-in session with Stan on his marvelous 2011 effort, "Let The Music Play"; in essence, I am re-inventing myself by making him a part of my listening lineup again. At the same time, there's some coincidental irony in that title, seeing how this guy had already 'invented' himself just fine, establishing his firm foothold in the music mainstream with the release of that amazing "Introducing Stan Walker" debut! And here he was again wasting no time at all in establishing even more excellence with the opening title track, reuniting me and my ears with that signature dynamite soulicious voice that I've become so, so fond of, a voice that surely makes every song thereafter an A+ performance! Even the most stony of hearts will be penetrated taking in his earnest words of "Bulletproof" (I'm digging the reggae hop to the rhythm here), even if the girl he sings about and the emotional shield of defense she's put around her is impossible to shoot down. While he may not have enough ammo to penetrate her target on that one, he's certainly determined to track her down on "Find You", one that I particularly loved because of its grand and epic presentation, the chanting of 'whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh' by the backup vocalists playing a big role in causing the song to get stuck to me. It's not searching for lost love, but preventing love from being lost, that serves as the theme to "Time To Save Our Love". The passionate delivery of the words of determination feel so real, and complementing that emotional air of seriousness is the stellar production, highlighted by the deep, suspenseful tones of the piano and the somber orchestral cinematics. His mood on 'Like It's Over", performed with a guest female singer named Ria Hall, is on a similar level, but my own mood perked up when I took in this song's cool synthesized beat, which partly reminds me of the arrangement to the unforgettable 90's dance hit, "Macarena". Praises to the production are also in order on pair of other favorites: "My Attention", a charming, comforting tune of reassurance sparked by a sparkly synthesized bass to the beat and the subtle, merry calypso accompaniment, and "Love Immortal", which is one I get a total charge out of whenever the song shifts from its slowed-down tempo to the sudden high-intensity dance tempo in the main chorus, the soaring, soulicious voice of Mr. Walker in command and proudly proclaiming that he and his sweetheart will never die nor ever be broken. Moments of nostalgia graced my ears yet again on "Hurricane" when he borrows the memorable line 'I was made for loving you, baby, and you were made for loving me' from the 1979 hard rock classic by KISS. That nostalgia, in fact, complemented the song's slight retro funk/pop arrangement, which works exceptionally well with Stan's talent for the seamlessly soulful offerings. It may not blow you away like a hurricane, but Track #4's "Bully", a very haunting, moving, and emotional power ballad, is guaranteed to take the air out of you and leave you breathless in the end! Then taking you for a warm and sunny ride is the inspiration of confidence driven into you on "Take It Easy". Perky tunes like this that make you smile and feel good are a great way to wake up and start off the day. Or if you're ending the day instead, the chilled-out reggae island remix is there to soothe the soul; they couldn't have invented a better way to top off this album:

1. Inventing Myself
2. Bulletproof
3. Find You
4. Bully [feat. Herbie Crichlow]
5. Time To Save Our Love
6. Runaway [feat. Ruby Frost]
7. My Attention
8. Love Immortal
9. Hurricane
10. Like It's Over [feat. Ria Hall]
11. Take It Easy [Radio Mix]
12. Radio [feat. Diafrix]
13. Take It Easy [Remix]

No comments: