Message to Bears
Departures


4.0
excellent

Review

by James OBrien USER (19 Reviews)
January 25th, 2012 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Though lacking some substance, Departures proves worthwhile by delivering a rich sense of visualization and emotional appeal.

In simplest terms, listening to Departures is cinematic. It is a summer breeze and a winter snowfall. Assertive and undoubtedly focused, solo artist Jerome Alexander’s debut album is one of high stature. Here Message to Bears operates subtly and with determination, drawing upon simple and delicate motifs to craft an album of emotional pulls. Through ten compositions, Departures explores some of the most fragile musical territories, firmly clinging in the back of the listener’s mind by the conclusion. The final result is an album which develops like a series of paintings.

Completely instrumental, Departures must communicate itself solely on the strength of its composition. Nevertheless, sparse vocal tracks, used more as a texture than a crux for storytelling, breathe a satisfying level of depth and personality into the music. Though no words are spoken, these soft melodies often repeat like a string section, swelling gracefully on songs such as Autumn and Find Our Way Home. The titles of such songs provide an unexpected heft of visual representation, conjuring vivid images of nature such as a frost-covered meadow in late autumn or gentle drops of dew falling from treetops.

Message to Bears encourages the listener to develop their own personal meaning. It is this empathizing which makes Departures so satisfyingly memorable. Like a pleasant memory, it slumbers in the listener’s mind until desired once more, best to be remembered as a whole rather than individual episodes. Still, specific parts do present themselves as particularly compelling, most notably the lush crescendos and trills of violins in Hope, and the delicate piano in November which effuses rich personality. Though it fails to establish a notable identity and some parts do bleed into one another, Departures presents itself as a singular, personable concept.

Alexander’s debut creeps so delicately into the minds of its listeners, encouraging creative thought and developing a message starting with so little. It relies on the strengths of its subtleties and personality, flowing in a concise and intelligent fashion. Here Jerome Alexander leaves a niche in the back of the listeners mind as reassuring as leaves falling in autumn.



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
UnnamedOcean
January 25th 2012


3966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The genre tags of this artist may seem a bit wacky, but I guess they are descriptive enough. Anyone
who likes really relaxing acoustic music should check this out.

cb123
January 25th 2012


2016 Comments


decent review man and sounds kinda interesting

Just one lil nitpick, after i read ya review i still had no idea what this really sounded like, i had to go check the artist page to get some idea

iambandersnatch
January 25th 2012


1479 Comments


From what I can glean it sounds like acoustic post-rock with some other instruments thrown in on occasion, but yeah it isn't made abundantly clear.

UnnamedOcean
January 25th 2012


3966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I guess I didn't mention too much about what genre it is.

wacknizzle
January 25th 2012


13215 Comments


This stuff is gorgeous. Light acoustic arpeggios that are both very melodic and melancholy with delicate strings draped over. Vocals could have helped but done wrong they would have destroyed this.

Digging: Dioramic - Supra

UnnamedOcean
January 25th 2012


3966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm lucky to have found this guy. I randomly ran across his music on Youtube.

wacknizzle
January 25th 2012


13215 Comments


I've had this on spotify for awhile, this review encouraged me to listen to it again.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2012


15979 Comments


This is an excellent review. Keep it up.

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

UnnamedOcean
January 25th 2012


3966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, Sowing. I'll definitely keep at it. I have a few albums I've been thinking of reviewing.

seedofnothing
January 26th 2012


3425 Comments


This sounds great, definitely good music to wined down too. I really appreciate you taking the time to share this with me. I've been some good folk as of late.

UnnamedOcean
January 26th 2012


3966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been some good folk as of late.


Wat?



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