American musician and composer Peter Broderick’s multi-talented musicality is one that seemingly makes his sound difficult to define. With a mix of folk, ambient and acoustic elements, his new album Colours of the Night is one that is slow in sound but plentiful in detailed musical exploration. This slow sound is something that in some tracks disables his ideas to rise to their full potential, however the album does host a few gems.
The introductory track Red Earth is a delicate beginning to the album and it faces the problem of being a little too dull. Broderick’s very calming voice isn’t illuminated by the uninspired guitar accompaniment and the track really doesn’t build in any way. The quicker tempo in the following track The Reconnection provides good momentum to the song and even Broderick’s vocals seem to reach higher peaks in range and melody. The minor drops in this song are unexpected and a nice surprise.
The track Colours of the Night is where Broderick makes something magical. The song is playful and mesmerising in its reverberations and echoes. The chorus hook is catchy and the guitar accompaniment adds colourful ornamentations to the accompaniment. The chamber voices add a magical element and fill in the empty sound. Our Best is another memorable track that again it plays with a memorable hook and the accompaniment transforms around the melodic motif. The guitar arpeggio really shines in this track as it interplays with Broderick’s vocals. One Way works with a more rhythmic sound with a quicker tempo and in this way, has a large impact on the listener. It’s nice to see Broderick vary his slow sound with a track that integrates a bit of funk into the mix. His loud vocal blurts paired with the funky bass and drums are complex and effectively draw the listener in.
However while these songs are somewhat musically intricate, most of the tracks don’t have a dramatic impact on the listener. From listening to this album, theoretically there are elements to be admired but as a whole there is nothing I would say that has really stuck with me. I think the slowness of some of the tracks end up disabling the listener from keeping focused on the thematic purpose and the ideas within this album. Some songs succeed in drawing attention, while others such as On Time fall flat. Overall, the album ends up feeling a little dreary and doesn’t provide any surprises.