Review Summary: In a 28 song medley, The Flashbulb shine through various methods and styles of music.
Chameleons are interesting animals, after all when you are able to change color to camouflage that is quite impressive. In a broad sense, chameleons use their change of color to hide from enemies, but in the case of Benn Jordan, also known as The Flashbulb, it is to show a broad range of musical abilities. In what is one of the most impressive displays of electronica, The Flashbulb created one of the most moving pieces of music that I have recently had a chance to hear in just over sixty minutes.
The initial reaction to this album was it was breathtaking. Once one song was over another carried away the sound and considering only nine songs are over three minutes, it did not take long to digest each song. The instruments vary from progressive-esque guitar to classical piano in a beautiful work of art. Some songs focus on violins and cellos, others on guitars, and a healthy amount of electronic beats. “Disheveled” is simply brutal, distorted guitar and ear-pounding beats create a dark and frightening mood unlike “Binedump,” which is less creepy with the same pulsating feel to it. The Flashbulb combines classical piano that runs side to side with a frenzied beat during “Passage D,” but nothing as frantic as “Lawn Wake IX.” A song that begins with catchy yet grinding noise slowly intensifies as it changes to a guitar tone and swaps back and forth until it ends with classic progressive guitar riff.
Throughout the twenty-eight song album, there is widespread use of electronic beats, but that is not the case for every song. “Kirlian Isles I” is primarily a string arranged song that builds in intensity until the final eerie stroke of a bow. On the other hand, “Blackout” and “Shortcuts” are beautifully and skillfully arranged piano ballads. The use of a non-artificial drum set is used to stun listeners as what is the primary sound in “Autumn Insomnia Session.” Overall, if there were any song to sum up the entire album, it would have to be “Miles and Miles.” It contains every sound incorporated in the song that is soon swept away by acoustical guitar that drives the song into a glowing abyss as the lyrics are sung and then a string and horn arrangement take the song deeper until it is no longer. It is unfortunate too, because it could have been a perfect ending to an album. Instead, it ends on a somber note, with a sad piano work and drumming.
The best part about this album is whenever I listen to it, I feel like the sun should be rising as I am driving down a city street in search of something that my life desires. The album reminds me to be optimistic about the future because it can change at any time. As I embark on that city street, it will serve as a notice to keep changing and keep looking out for my future and myself. Now, during this pursuit, I will know exactly which album to play.
Autumn Insomnia Session
Miles and Miles
Lawn Wake IX
Kirlian Changes, Kirlian Shores
Visit and listen at http://www.theflashbulb.net/