Brady Marchand’s first solo effort takes a largely electro-pop sound, adds groovy hip hop elements, and tosses it all in a bowl of ambiance called On The Tower. It is a rather long listen; it has 13 songs clocking in just shy of an hour, but maintains relevance throughout with subtly changing rhythm lines, a pounding bass and interesting vocal effects.
For the most part, the songs here tend to go in one of two directions. The title track, “Grape,” is a good indication of the style of most of the songs on the album. Light, airy and plucky, it is reminiscent of the journey music you hear during the exploration portions of a role-playing game. You find that halfway through the song starts to dance and swirl around you, an effect that makes numerous appearances later.
The other direction this album takes is seen in “Vacation,” a heavy, fast-paced song with deep undertones. It’s arguably the most sinister track, aided by the use of choppy and largely synthesized vocals to create a much darker atmosphere. Such an atmosphere provides a stark, and in some aspects welcome, contrast to the lighter and poppier songs contained within the album.
My favorite song on the album was “Tops,” a song unlike any of the others. It takes a hip-hop inspired vocal style, percussion and underlying melody and mashes it with pop lyrics and electric top beats. The technique worked really well and is best described as the lovechild of hip hop meets electro-pop done right – and was the most creative effort here.
As a solo debut, On The Tower works really well in showcasing Brady Marchand’s ear for music and creative abilities, while managing to balance the sense of continuity and progression that one likes to hear in a unified album. A few of the songs are a tad long and you might zone out for a bit during the sparse repetitive parts; but the artist does a good job of reining you back in by changing the tempo and mood, and on the whole it becomes an engaging listen. Moving forward, I hope the artist takes the creative ingenuity of “Tops” and incorporates it into more aspects of the album. All in all, this is a fresh take on solid musical elements and I am excited to hear how Marchand builds on this sound in the future.
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