From a studio in Boston comes the latest offering from Onlyone, the cryptically-monikered musical persona otherwise known as joe kowalski. 'yourself, anew' is ten tracks that reinforce Onlyone's role as flag-waver and would-be lab partner for musical innovators such as peter gabriel, brian eno, kate bush, brian wilson and tom waits. On his earlier recordings, Onlyone introduced himself as a daring but confident enigma hell bent on blending two seemingly opposed sensibilities: traditional world music and cutting edge music technology. Like kate bush, he uses the studio as an instrument-- playing all the parts, layering tracks and turning knob-twiddling into an art form. Onlyone boldly wields sounds drawn from north african and Indian tradition and smoothly blends them with odd percussion and the squonk and titter of analog synth-drenched grooves; tied together with his lyrical brilliance, understated theatrics and an unquestionable gift for songcraft, the overall result is a compelling, eyebrow-raising sound. On 'yourself, anew,' ambient swirls, lush atmospherics and a harder rock groove play an increased role, further confirming Onlyone's influences and his drive to make an enthralling, uncluttered record that both challenges and charms the listener. 'devil wears the face of a lovely day' features an irresistible roots groove, while the sincere lullabye-esque vocal 'like that dream' is reminiscent of massive attack. 'everything is you' and 'all come running,' the more pop-oriented tunes, romp with a retro eighties feel, while the tom waits-like 'axe song' provides a powerful example of Onlyone's ability to use unorthodox instrumental arranging for impact. At once challenging and charming, 'yourself, anew' is a heady flight that dips and soars through clouds of sound and thought and serves as the latest in Onlyone's search for new compositional expression.
You May Also Like
Page 1 of