RY X and London Contemporary Orchestra
Live From The Royal Albert Hall


4.0
excellent

Review

by Evok CONTRIBUTOR (44 Reviews)
March 10th, 2021 | 14 replies


Release Date: 01/01/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: lavender fingers, swallow my pollen.

On paper, it seems a little counterintuitive to marry RY X's uniquely adamant take on understated indie folk-goes-R&B to a full blown orchestra. The sultry Australian's feverishly sensual and delicate timbres have always festooned themselves to a romantic chasm of lust and introspection, stirring up yearning hearts with subdued deep-house rhythms and silky background arrangements, and as such, it often comes as a bit of a "holy sh*t" moment when casual fans first hear his hand-in-glove synergy alongside proper ensembles. It's all so... natural, as if he and the exotic choruses of brass and horsehair have shared the air since day one, rising and falling between heartfelt crescendos in unison and sharing their memories with every sunrise. "Uncanny" might be an apt descriptor then, as RY X is a solo artist first and foremost, scripting intimate songs to be shared in the quietest hours of an evening with your lover, and not necessarily the kind of expat-surfer-hippie you'd expect to see guiding a classical concert hall to joyful tears. He does a fantastic job of it though, and his newest release with the London Contemporary Orchestra marks his first official release of such a grand spectacle.

Recorded in October of 2019 and finally released digitally in early 2021, this collaborative effort isn't the first time RY X has worked with a philharmonic kit. In fact (and to the surprise of many like myself), performing with orchestras is a bit of a passion for the Australian babe; a passion that has fortuitously brought the world some of the most touching live events in modern music. Dim lights, supple strings, and the soft croons of a bearded man with seashell bracelets and loose-fitted hemp tees has graced a number of halls by this point, with each evening curated and executed with an overwhelming sense of genuine humility. A quick jaunt through the YouTube search results will quickly reveal another full concert alongside the Brussels Philharmonic Soloists that took place in 2019 - an event so moving it's nigh unbelievable until you experience it for yourself, and one that certainly stands as the finest example of his penchant for engendering endearing chemistry with a large group of musicians. It was on that very same tour that his sold-out performance at Royal Albert Hall took place. Another vulnerable evening that sat in the vaults of privy memory for almost two years before finally receiving the good old fashioned digital release treatment, what it lacks in the visual stimuli of the Brussels/YouTube concert, it makes up for in stunning fidelity and sonic transparency. His finest songs both old and new pepper the well-paced tracklist, ebbing and flowing between peaky emotion and the inward gaze of ambience with grace and poise.

Now, beyond the orchestral endeavours, it can be argued that this Aussie-gone-LA's finest hour was vested within his debut album, Dawn - a case that's well-bolstered by glistening gems like "Sweat" and "Howling"; both of which get the royal treatment here with poetic strings extrapolating on their minimalist origins. Ry's voice and minutiae acoustic guitar melt into the London Contemporary’s magic throughout, becoming one and whole on the angelic "Salt" proclaiming "We let love be like water to wine, we let love be the higher design", and posing as a juxtaposition to the distant, driving beats on tracks like "Body Sun" and "The Water". Assuredly, a collective sense of peace and admiration grounded the audience by evening’s end, with a denouement that wrapped things up with the same meditative energy of the opening movement. RY X’s unique sound fit the bill hand-in-glove alongside one of the UK’s finest ensembles here, neither sad nor happy-go-lucky by nature, but rife with emotive elements that pirouette between animal lust and spiritual revelation. Egos crumble in the face of such an experience, and as lucky as the crowd was that night, we can safely count ourselves among the fortunate as well.



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user ratings (6)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Evok
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2021


8374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Had to dust the cobwebs off the typewriter for this one.

Digging: Dvne - Etemen nka

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2021


13964 Comments


Now for some momentum and we're off. Great work Evok - now you know you can't stop right?

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2021


1192 Comments


aaayyyyy, spiritual pos. you the best

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2021


13964 Comments


yes, mandatory neg...oh wait.

Evok
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2021


8374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Im quite relieved I'm immune to pos and negs now. My writing quality is no longer accountable to the general populace, and I plan to take full advantage of this new clout!

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2021


1192 Comments


TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT EVOK. SHOW'EM WHO'S BOSS

DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2021


8688 Comments


Awesome review!

Evok
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2021


8374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aww shucks

Gyromania
March 11th 2021


32259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

shortline is absolutely stunning, as are body sun and salt.

DoofDoof
March 11th 2021


9159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

still a guilty pleasure I guess but when he's good he's v good

Evok
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2021


8374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No guilt. He's a goddamn sex machine. I mean just look at him.

Gyromania
March 11th 2021


32259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think this is a bit overwrought at points, hindered by its propensity for grandiosity. When it's on, it's ON tho. Some of these tracks are just downright gorgeous, but it does start to sound a bit formulaic as it goes

DoofDoof
March 11th 2021


9159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The same goes for his regular recorded stuff tbh



Overall I boost my rating a bit for his albums because even if only a third of the songs on them are REALLY good, as a whole they are perfect background music

Evok
Contributing Reviewer
March 11th 2021


8374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah the man thrives on mood for sure. Nonetheless, I agree with all those points. HOWEVER, if you haven't yet sat down with this Brussels concert for a watch n' listen, you're in for a reaaal treat. Here's the link..



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K5vAb4T6B0



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