C.K. Flach is a folk singer/songwriter from Albany, NY who recently released Morning, Looking East. This is an album that really doesn’t need much explanation. Morning, Looking East is a folk album and a simple one at that. Flach strums his guitar, plays some sparse harmonica and has some female accompaniment of the song.
Morning, Looking East is a solid album. The good outweighs the not as good but let's start with the latter. I’ve mentioned this plenty of times in my critiques that sparse albums like this need some versatility and it has to come from somewhere. Morning, Looking East relies on the same elements on each song. While this can be good to an extent it can start to feel mundane. Flach strums his songs in a very similar way in each song. It’s not only that, but each song has a strain of melancholy which feels interchangeable if not a mere couple degrees different. My point is I would have liked to hear more peaks and valleys on this album. Some distinctly different guitar picking and more distinct shades of emotion than melancholy would be a good start.
The strongest thing about the album are the vocals and lyrics. Flach isn’t exactly a dynamic singer by any stretch of the imagination. He stays within the same octave for most of the album. I think he knows where he sounds good and comfortable and that’s fine by me. The last thing you want to hear is a singer who stretches his vocal chords past their ability to work. From a purely aesthetically perspective I enjoyed the tone and texture of his vocals. I also thought the strategically used female vocals were a nice addition.
The album is a concept/story album that tells the tale of a man’s birth, life and death. Truth be told I don’t think I would haven’t figured this out if I wasn’t told. The lyrics are sometimes ambiguous, poetic and you will need to do some scrutinizing to put together that there is an interwoven story between the ten songs.
The songwriting is so consistent and similar that I had a hard time finding highlights. Suffice it to say it may take multiple listens for individual songs to stick out. Although since this is a concept album maybe it's better that way.
Morning, Looking East is far from perfect but it works because of the crafted storytelling and pleasant aesthetics. I will say that if you are in the mood for something a little more somber this could be your ticket.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook