Thursday, May 18, 2017

Johnathan Cavier – Blue Room

Johnathan Cavier – Blue Room 

Johnathan Cavier has been making atmospheric pop tunes for long enough to arrive at Blue Room, his latest album of ten songs to add to his catalog of ten releases. It’s an extended amount of time to be recording and still going strong above or beneath the pop radars. The older you get the more odds are there to toy with the idea of creating technically driven ideas to keep up with the times, or throw caution to the wind and just be old fashioned. Blue Room achieves both without shame, as it keeps one foot in the modern and one in the retro-active clichés that keep pop around, rather than run it off to find its wide demographic harder and harder to find. That’s good and bad, as it is everything it sounds, but doesn’t leave this CD hurting any in the songwriting and playing departments. And that is no luck of the draw for an artist who’s been around the block more than a few times. It is a matter of pure skill and the willpower to keep it focused. As most of the tracks on Blue Room keep that focus as long as you’re in the mood for each one, but it doesn’t mean they vary a lot. They don’t start off with much excitement but that changes as it begins to build and go out on a high note. It goes from strength to strength that way. A walk through this ball park is in order as it comes on softly with the opener “Blue Room” itself being the way to come out swinging.

This esoteric number isn’t any better or worse than anything else on the album, but it might be a slow way to kick off any album, nevertheless. It’s ok, because it only gets more interesting and a lot better with “When You Come Around” which washes a great melody through your ears and makes you get right into it and an album seems to be born as he perks right up and show his ultimate pop prowess. What a contrast but it doesn’t mean the opening cut isn’t of as much value. It just took hearing the subsequent result to get going. It is a wonderful follow-up with a melancholy vocal delivery and a classy string arrangement. “Hollywood” follows a whole different vibe but it is a good one, that much is evident. You start rocking back and forth very soon and might even be reminded of everyone from Roxy Music to ABC on this. It’s a cool throwback to the nightclubs of decade’s past, and the glamor And glitz of Tinsel Town. You can tell these are some of Cavier’s influences, without question. But he marches to his own beat, never copying, always keeping inflections of pop and dance music with romantic themes. Your mileage might vary, but this is one of the more well written and recorded tracks and there is still a lot more to go.

With “Phoenix” rising above most of them on one of the speedier moments on the disc. It manages to complement everything before and after it with that excellence to be expected from this artist. Also with “Far Away” “I Believe” and “Somebody Like You” all making their differences for the better in the Blue Room full of illustrious pop mashed with eighties romantic, Bowie influenced music. “Right Place” also holds its own along with “Someday” being worthy of noting for its killer guitar work before the closing musicality cooks up and burns away. It’s not the way you’d expect the album to end but it’s never predictable, even though Johnathon Cavier can deceive on paper. Listening to it in full is the only way to find out just how good he is.

Randy Jones  

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