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Saturday, June 14

Album Review: Analog Son – Analog Son - June 10th, 2014

Analog Son  
Analog Son 
June 10th, 2014

What do you get when you combine 17 years of musical collaboration, a list of guest musicians that is off the charts, and a group dynamic centered around the ecstatic feeling of funk? Well, we will certainly find out after we hear the debut, self-titled album from Analog Son. Primarily consisting of (also,  Kinetix) bandmates Jordan Linit and Josh Fairmal, Analog Son provide us an epic journey through a progressive funk fusion project like none other. Linit and Fairman enlisted The Shady Horns (Lettuce, Soulive), Joe Tatton (The New Mastersounds), Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), Joey Porter (The Motet, Juno What?), and members of The Congress, Fox Street, Devon Parker and Convervence (local Denver talent) to contribute to this portrait of funk genius. With this all-star lineup and a thirst to get some tunes out there for all ears, Analog Son brings the heat on this release, out June 10, 2014. “The Professor” sets an unmistakable tone straight off the bat. This instrumental gets your gears greased up immediately, with subtly screaming keyboards and deep guitar grooves. A tight horns section accents staccato lines flawlessly. The bridge is a bit more legato, which stretches the tune out a bit. The instruments move so beautifully it’s almost natural, leaving the perfect amount of space for masterful keyboard and sax solos. “She’s Somethin” features soulful vocals. The drums seem very full and spread out, while the rest of the instruments rely on staccato stabs, which creates some subtle, welcoming tension. A fluid, jazzy guitar solo breaks up the tune. “Not A Care In The World” starts off with a smooth, powerful bass line. Horns take over the lead, and then the drums kick the track into full gear. A simple but catchy horns hook is driven by the dynamic, steady bass and drum beat. It truly makes you feel like you don’t have a care in the world. The trumpet solo tops things off, putting the listener into an old jazz club mindset. “The Game” is another vocal tune. A rhythmic drum and bass breakdown paves the way for a slowly building sax solo. The band moves through the solo section unbelievably smoothly, before breaking down for one last passionate vocal scream. “Analog Island” presents a classic ‘70s funk feel, with strategically placed short instrumental lines. Guitar takes the first solo, and the tune morphs into a relaxed, jazzy feel to accommodate an alluring keyboard solo. This mesmerizing instrumental tune really epitomizes the primary feel of the entire album. “La Espana” has a much more laid back groove than the rest of the tracks. Spanish guitar adds some acoustic flavor to this heavily electric album. A raging whirlwind of a keyboard solo takes over the majority of the second half of the tune, leaving listeners waiting with baited breath for the next tune. “Struttin” sounds exactly how it is named. The song makes the listener feel like a king. Sexy, muted vocals add to the aura of walkin’ down the street as women (or men if you so desire) are checkin’ you out. Guitar and bass lead the horns through a tight bridge, while the keyboard sings long, passionate chords in between verses. The tune ends with a modest “Yeah, that’s pretty good.” “Cadillac Sundays” is characterized by rolling horns, like a wave steering the listener up and down. Muted guitar picking adds a mischievous ambience. The guitar screams out a raging solo before the drums and bass break down the post-solo section, teaming up beautifully. The intro to “Swervantes” reminds me so much of Shaft, with ticking hi-hats and syncopated bass notes. The verse has more of a smooth jazz fusion feel to it. A lull in the middle of the tune makes for a dreamy bridge as the lead guitar climbs up and down, like a yo-yo. The drums kick the solo up a notch as listeners are led through a swirling, mind-numbing build-up into a funky breakdown, ending the album on a strong outro with all instruments leading the way together. Analog Son has truly provided us with an incredible debut project. I look forward to really seeing these guys in action. The best parts of the album, however, are the little things. Syncopation by one or more of the instruments, playing basically the same lines but bringing the key up a step or two, accents, simplicity in the musicality, attention to detail, and strategically placed quick licks truly make Analog Son something special. Every part of the album feels so natural, as if the band had been planning this project for years. Everything just fits. To top it all off, the project utilizes vintage equipment and tape recording to produce an earthy, authentic sound by combining classic engineering with modern musicianship.  
Words: Randy Harris


4 out of 5 glowsticks!
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