Purposeful Porpoise: The Water Games
It is rare today to hear a group of top level musicians performing at their peak. In a world where music is created to be disposed of like a TV commercial, I find it harder and harder to hear true musicianship shine through. Supergroup albums give us the opportunity to really hear what the best musicians do when they aren't working for somebody else - and it's important that we pay attention at every chance we get.
Purposeful Porpoise is an example of pure dedication to artwork and excellence. It is obvious, while listening, that entire project is seamless and no corners were cut. From the selection of musicians, to the compositions, down to mastering, this album is 100% on fire.
Speaking of musicians, here is the lineup:
Alex Cora - Guitar, Composition, Founder, Vocals
Vinnie Colaiuta - Drums
Derek Sherinian - Keyboard
Ric Fierabracci - Bass
Ginny Luke - Violin
Although the norm today is to record tracks separately, in different studios, at different times, the producer of this album, Alex Cora, went out of his way to bring everybody together in the same room to record. While I think albums recorded on separate tracks often turn out very well, it is great to hear that this lineup had the chance to sit down for a few days and really spend some time playing together.
The songs are not written to be radio hits. The album is a double sized treasure, with many songs over 10 minutes and one or two over 20, coming in on two separate disks.
Even though I keep mentioning that this isn't pop music, I will say that it is exceptionally approachable for a supergroup album. The chord choices are warm and pleasant, the vocals are pretty, and many of the songs have a natural 4/4 feel. On the other hand, the musicians don't hold back. You can hear each of them in full force, playing relentlessly and bouncing ideas back and forth.
Aside from the compositional excellence and incredible production, some of the things that really stood out to me included the tone of Colaiuta's cymbals (the Paiste setup is incredible) and Derek Sherinian's solos (such as at the end of "Crossing Into the Unknown").
You can pick up the album from Amazon: Purposeful Porpoise: The Water Games