Ian Barnett with Bear Language - Rememory
I'm not usually a big fan of heavy hitting rock albums. But, when I listened to "Rememory" by Bear Language, I had to make an exception.
Because I like a lot of complexity in music, most rock albums just put me to sleep. Even if the energy level is high, I just can't get into it unless there is something I find *interesting* happening. This is why, at first glance, I didn't think I was going to really enjoy this album much.
However, when I finally made the time to dig into it, I found that I enjoyed it for many different reasons. First, the passion of the musicians is very clear. The energy level, the phrasing, and the way each note is expressed comes from the soul. That alone I can appreciate.
But, I also started to notice that some of the songs have some pretty structured, complex phrases. Even though they're pretty tough, they don't come off as unmusical. A lot of people just can't stand the music I normally like because it seems pretentious and nerdy. There is sometimes a pretty strong dichotomy between rock and roll and more complex styles like jazz fusion. Albums like this one remind me that we can have both - the songs flow naturally, the music rocks, and the musicians also get to play some pretty tricky stuff. Everybody wins.
Finally, I have to give props to Ian Barnett (and the other musicians). Ian really drives some heavy, hard, and intense grooves through this whole thing. When you play this hard, you have to be completely connected to your creative mind - and Ian has that going on. I always look up to this kind of musical expression, regardless of the style. Ian feels completely unrestrained - no holding back. This is something I struggle with, but it's also something that all of the world's great musicians have in common - a clear expressive voice that allows them to unleash their skills into the music.
You can listen to the album on Soundcloud.
Also check out my interview with Ian Barnett.