Didn’t expect such a lengthy review from this young lady.
Vicki emailed me her review this afternoon. She added: “Hope that the review is okay. I’m not musically gifted enough to talk about chord progressions and what not, so I hope that this will do”.
It’s more than OK, Vicki. We’re grateful when someone bothers to listen to the music, let alone provide constructive comments. I think she tended to be on the kinder side in commenting on the music, LOL.
She’s spot on regarding the sound-engineering. I’m learning more about adjusting the sound levels in GarageBand, and I dare say our upcoming 3rd album will show some improvements.
Here’s her review:
I got to know Ivan through an online music forum, where I approached him after knowing of his interest in Instrumental music (namely Rock Guitar). We hit it off from there, and our online acquaintanceship has somehow progressed from an introduction to a mutually beneficial and enjoyable sharing session.
So yes, thanks to the power of the internet, somehow two people in an island of approximately 5 Million people managed to find each other merely by staring at a screen.
But I digress. On to the review of ‘One World One Moment’ before someone thinks we’re embroiled in a complicated techno-relationship!
‘One World One Moment’ is a collaborative project by Ivan Chew and Adrian Loo, who collectively refer to themselves as Starfish Stories – The Band. One’s a teacher; another’s a librarian (not really two people you’d find with not just one, but two albums to their name!) And the best part is, the album was totally recorded and mixed from their homes, without either one of them meeting physically to jam or compose. The sound quality cannot, (and should not), be compared to a ‘proper’ album done in a recording studio, but for what it counts, it is a commendable effort that is completely homebrewed.
With 9 tracks in the album, each of them different from another, the album is a pleasurable listen on a Sunday afternoon (like today!).
It starts off with One World (2008) which was written to celebrate and embrace the only race – The Human Race. This struck a chord with me (excuse the pun!) because I’m a believer that all people… no matter how we may find ourselves different, we just need to look deeper to see we’re exactly the same. High gain guitar, with a melody that actually makes me imagine the whole “out of body” experience, traversing the world and seeing all the people (ala National Geographic commercial). A fine track, and a great start to the album.
Quiet Afternoon is a short 2 and a half minute interlude, which is calming and true to its name. Reminiscent of an underwater exploration.
Genetic (re)Mix takes on a faster pace after that short relaxing tune, and is again, titled very aptly. Can imagine this in a sci-fi flick with cyborgs and evil machines trying to take over the world.
Rainy Days 2.4 is another short 2 minute + track, but this was a small surprise. Judging from the title I was thinking a more melancholic tune; but despite the fact that it’s not what I expected in terms of mood, it still does well.
Surfing on Solar Winds is the first track that is not primarily guitar-driven, with the bass and keys taking centrestage. Short, but bridges the gap between the previous song to the next.
Have I Told You Lately – Part 2 is my favourite track from the album. The instruments take the backseat here, acting as accompaniment while the vocals are haunting and fit the song just right. Lyrics are simple and they don’t try too hard to be pseudo-deep and complicated. Ivan is no Josh Groban or Sinatra, but he delivers emotionally in this heartfelt composition.
The next tune carries on the sad, rather longing mood. Drifting, like a loveless soul that knows no hope is left. Drifting aimlessly, knowing but still hoping for a sudden miracle to happen. The “tribal calls” near the end of the track sets the mood in a barren Savannah-ish landscape.
Firefly 1.4 sounds strangely familiar but I just can’t remember where I heard it. No matter, it is a pleasing track.
The last track, The Hill. An obvious Scottish influence there! I couldn’t help but imagine a librarian and schoolteacher dressed in kilts and wielding bagpipes and a cowbell, but of course, the rolling green hills and beautiful scenery of Scotland. A great end to the album, this is my second favourite track.
I Give ‘One World One Moment’ by Starfish Stories – The Band a 7/10. The ideas and compositions could use a little more polishing and refining, but other than that, it’s all good. Someone get these two guys into a recording studio and a master sound engineer, quick!
Thanks again, Vicki, for the review.