Saturday, January 18, 2014

Take a breath and fall in love...

You can't listen to one song from The Remains of an Effort and think you know this band. There's no pigeonholing a collection that ranges from driving rock to nightclub jazz, from sexy blues to timeless pop, with genres I can't name in between. There is something for everyone. How this core band of five plays together with such diversity is astounding in itself, but what's even better is how energetic, sincere, empathetic, and joyful it all sounds together.
There's nothing like falling in love with a song, finding the kind of connection that makes you want to hug the music to your heart. I said you can't listen to one song to know this band, yet it takes only one song to know you're in love. Whatever genre they're playing in, the heart of Train Company comes through to create a full, cohesive work that in the end tells a story you want to hear again.

While exploring themes of change, the kinds of mistakes we all make, the kinds of growth we all need, there's both a sense of the drive to find yourself ("Look at you/Your face in your hands and you don't know what to do"; "to fill the void you make some noise") and a sense of compassion ("Through the air the numbered masses stay connected"; "'Cause I know, I've been there before/I know I'll be there once more") always recognizing the patterns of life we all go through ("You never know you're goin' round and round/Still fallin' up/All the way") with the feeling it's all okay, maybe even the point.

Guitar, bass, keyboard, saxophone, drums--the musical arrangements (with added horns and strings) are the sound of seasoned players who know when to embellish and when to hold back, and who still like to have fun. The music doesn't always go where expected, breaking the formulas (an unexpected note held long, a sudden exquisite shift in rhythm, sax tinkering with near mischief, the softening turn of strings, the building tap tap tap of the piano), and the shifts startle you pleasantly awake. The singer-songwriter-guitarist, John Zozarro, seems to have a vision and it's played out in his lyrics, as well as in his emotionally textured yet astoundingly smooth, clean voice that is tender, sexy, triumphant, and playful. His presence rings through everything and immediately turns any bad day good.

When the album ends, to snag a new meaning from "Face in the Crowd"--"You take a deep breath then you start over."
 
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Download an MP3 on Amazon or visit the Train Company website for more options and a free listen!

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