Monday, May 26, 2008

Album Review: Supernatural, Rahim Quazi

Elvis Costello made the famous quote that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” It may come as a surprise to hear me, a blogger, say this, but I think that there is a large amount of truth in that statement. When music is truly at its best, it touches a place inside of one’s self that words cannot seem to do justice to. Very few albums truly reach that level, but Rahim Quazi’s Supernatural is such an album. So bear with me, as I attempt to dance about architecture.

The album opens with the title track, a truly infectious yet inspiring pop tune with a chorus (“5, 4, 3, 2, one day he’ll see you on the ground, lost or found/Save your life, that’s just no good anymore) that is likely to set up permanent residence in your head upon hearing it. It is the kind of song that would feel at home on the radio, and more importantly, it manages to possess a potential for mainstream success, while never feeling derivative or trying to be a hit single. The song naturally has the quality that demands repeated listening.

Much of the album has a strong pop sensibility to it. “She Falls” has a definite McCartney-esque sound to it. In fact, many of the tracks on the album (“In This Life”, “Goodbye”, and the hidden track “Life, It’s a Gas”) show a definite appreciation of the Beatles on Mr. Quazi’s part. While the Beatles influence is unmistakably apparent, the songs never come off as Beatles rip offs. In fact, one of the most pleasant things about this album is that the sound of the songs is truly original. Whereas most bands it is easy to play the “pin the tail on the influences” game as I call it, he manages to take his influences and meld it into something that seems to defy simple classification.

The album also manages to take a multitude of styles and put them together on one album and yet never does Supernatural feel disjointed. Some of the tracks like “Always Be There” and “You Fool” show a much more rocking side of Mr. Quazi (the latter of which translates into an intense experience when performed live). Other tracks like “Gifts and Burdens” and “So Much Better” are mellow, introspective numbers that tells stories that will draw the listener in. Granted, 2008 has not even reached the halfway mark yet, but I would be shocked if I heard a better album this year than Supernatural. Don’t just take my word for it. After all, I’m only dancing about architecture. This is an album that is a must have not for just local music fans, but for anyone who understands the power of music.

1 comment:

Lonestar said...

Great blog about Rahim!
Scotty Mankoff