Asaf Avidan - "Gold Shadow"
Blending classic rock sounds with modern themes and styles, Asaf Avidan manages to create a flawless album of creative maturity.
I wanted to post this review closer to the albums release, but I just could not find words to express how it was making me feel. I would start and just trip over myself, falling flat and failing to do more than create gibberish. I've had to distance myself and almost overexpose myself to it in order to achieve any kind of perspective.
You have probably guessed at this point that I think the album is a marvel, a wonder, and not to be missed. I don't believe there are any better albums out there - equal ones surely. I believe in a past environment this album would achieve the success of Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors", Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" or Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks". In today's flash and dash world I am afraid too many people will miss it entirely or not truly listen and connect with it.
Track by Track:
1. "Over My Head" (2:37)
2. "Ode to My Thalamus" (3:38)
3. "The Jail That Sets You Free" (3:18)
4. "Little Parcels of an Endless Time" (3:25)
5. "My Tunnels Are Long and Dark These Days" (4:32)
6. "Gold Shadow" (4:30)
7. "Let's Just Call It Fate" (3:12)
8. "These Words You Want to Hear" (3:27)
9. "A Part of This" (3:42)
10. "Bang Bang" (3:23)
11. "The Labyrinth Song" (4:08)
12. "Fair Haired Traveller" (4:11)
I usually give comments for each track, but in deference to this album I could not break them up in that way. Each song achieves heights of astounding beauty and complex emotion. They, however, are firmly part of this whole, and trying to describe them as separate pieces would cause the mirror to shatter. I am not saying you can't enjoy each song alone. Each one could be a single easily, but they fit so nicely together within the framework of this record that it is a shame to pull them apart.
Asaf Avidan is a man of true feeling and the ability to express himself. I would compare some of his songwriting ability to Sting in that he isn't afraid to use vocabulary and educated thoughts. Asaf has a hauntingly expressive voice and the musicality to use it with medical precision. I find myself so submerged in his songs that I have to swim to the surface and I am a bit foggy and confused while trying to adjust back to reality.
It is so nice to clearly understand every word an artist is singing. Asaf has beautiful diction and that can't be praised enough. There are far too many mumbler singers these days and those that try to sing outside their registers. Asaf isn't afraid to push his limits, especially performing live, but he understands what he is capable of and uses it in full measure.
I have recommended Asaf to people that have gotten back to me that they found his voice off-putting. To them I respond that they just need to listen a few more times. I find he uses his voice much like a storyteller, changing inflection and tone to match the tale he is unfolding. Often gentle and tender like a mother's hands stroking the face of her child, sometimes familiar and calming like the caress of a good friend, occasionally arousing and tempestuous, and sometimes barking and authoritative.
I look forward to listening to this album with verve equal to coming home from a long journey, as well as with the anxious expectation of going on an adventurous vacation. Gold Shadow will awaken the desire to go out and live your life to it's fullest. The pains of life are strongest when derived from the joys that can only be had by taking chances and placing yourself in vulnerable positions.
Thank you Mr. Avidan for a most enjoyable listening experience. I hope life brings you some measure of the happiness this album has given to me.