Thursday, May 18, 2017

Blue Room by Johnathan Cavier

Blue Room by Johnathan Cavier 

Blue Room, Johnathan Cavier’s 2017 full-length album, takes him to higher highs and no lows to report on these ten tracks that smolder with pop star qualities. If you could nail his influences does they’d have to be firmly grounded in the 70s and 80s R&B crooners like David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, Simon Le Bon and Martin Fry. And if that is calling it far from the mark, then take your pick of others with the same front man swagger. He’s a throwback in every sense of the term, but doesn’t forget he’s not living in the past, he’s just paying his usual homage to the finer things that used to fall off trees compared to now. With much more to know in his background, it’s been told and this is about the room of life’s mellowest color, blue. And so that naturally has the LP starting with the title number “Blue Room” where you get the first ripples of the smooth Cavier effect. You almost find yourself dancing at the clubs of youth or early adulthood. It has something so familiar about it that he’s like a ghost from the past, here to set the clock back a little and put some happiness into the world. You’ll be glad you heard him after just this one song, and if you’re already aware of him it will bring a smile to your face.

This is followed by what could be part two because it’s just as good, but it also seems to invite someone back into the room on “When You Come Around” if you try to nail the feelings. It’s worth the try, as he insists is the case himself on this tune about a disenchanted lover’s chances of coming back around. And all of these backing arrangements are spot on as every track flows along. There is no letting up after that, and the place where all your dreams come true gets fully explored on the streets of “Hollywood” and there’s no secrets hidden as he tells it like it is when you’re living it up out there.

This is toe tapping stuff for the masses to bump and grind to on the dancefloor, as it has the easiest beat for dancing away. It’s a finger snapping good cut with all of that retro comeback content done the right way. This isn’t quite R&B, but it’s closer to that and straight up rock, than disco or funk. Such a title cannot lose unless it’s done in poor taste, so, it wins with flying colors. But so does “Phoenix” in every other way possible, as it stacks up to being the most modern edged piece, with only slight inflections of any ambiance yesteryear. The bird wants to fly closer to real time than time wants it to. This track features some biting guitar to sink its claws in as far as possible. You’ll be swept away by this time, or not. But if not it only takes another crack at drawing you in to take you “Far Away” with an over the top acoustic trip to wonderland. Cavier seems to manipulate the wind in your sails on this easy listening masterpiece that reminds of sitting around the campfire, telling spooky stories to family and loved ones. It offers up as much as any track in the Blue Room of poetic pop and crooner musings. And don’t let any of these chosen titles stop you from hearing it all in one experience, as albums are meant to be heard. But “Someday” and the final cut “Edge Of A Singularity” are worth every bit of time they take to absorb, as I did like a sponge. 


Mike Tabor

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