Saturday 28 December 2013

Review: Joe Rosati – The Candelabra Light

Joe Rosati – The Candelabra Light (Independent)
Back in the very early ‘80s, the scorched-earth musical policies of punk were all but extinguished, but the spirit lived on, through a variety of post-punk outfits keen to rip-up the rulebook and establish new procedures and ways of doing things. From the dissonant agit-funk of groups like Gang Of Four and A Certain Ratio to the highly literate song-based bands like Echo & The Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes, the new scene was eclectic, cultured and tremendously exciting – and Joe Rosati would have fitted right in.

It would be all too easy to dismiss Rosati as an artist making music drastically out of time, and much of “The Candelabra Light” feels rooted in a scene that’s long disappeared. Fortunately (for everyone concerned) the accessibility of digitized music has opened up the past and made available styles and sounds to new listeners - and personal playlists zip back and forth through the years, blurring timelines and laying waste to notions of fashion. Rosati’s songs are there to be enjoyed, whatever the time and place of origin.

Working with producer and bandmate Ben Fuller (China Davis), “The Candelabra Light” was recorded in Rosati’s family home, in the Urban Grace Church in Tacoma, WA, and Fuller's Studio in Seattle. The result is a collection with differing textures and qualities, though it retains an undeniable artistic consistency, which is down to both Rosati’s songs and his delivery. Highlights come thick and fast. Opening cut “Candelabra” echoes and reverberates, the simple accompaniment enhanced by atmosphere and mood. “Narrow Path” combines the wiry post-industrial rock of the northwest of England with the post-grunge aesthetic of northwest USA, together with something altogether older and rootsier, while “Sunset Savior” injects a sublime Nick Drake-esque ambience that almost takes the breath away.
Phil S.

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