Deep in the Waves is the first solo album from J. Briozo. The album contains thirteen songs that are often mood driven and thought provoking. There are certainly some gems amongst the batch starting with the opener “Blind.” “Blind” showcases a style where Briozo really shines. The vibe reflects the album art. It’s airy, atmospheric and contains a subtle yet emotionally appealing vocal performance. Briozo really feeds this vibe with the title track and ““Beautiful Mess.”
Briozo goes three for three. Unfortunately, “Spinning Out” took me out of the mood he was painting so well. It sounds like a conventional southern rock tune and felt displaced from the cosmic, reflective and meditative mood that he had established. It felt like an odd, head scratching misstep that happens twice more with “The Big Parade” and to a lesser extent with “Sun Sun True.”
Don’t get me wrong I liked all three of these songs but to me they felt they would have worked better as a separate EP because of the stylistic differences which aren't subtle. Hence, I think this album would have been more cohesive with the ten tracks that felt more aligned with each other.
The more nostalgic, atmosphere even haunting mood is done to almost perfection on songs like “Firefly,” “Blue” and “Camera Obscura."
Briozo is obviously a talented musician in many areas. The songwriting shines as well as his ear for tone and textures which often give the music a visual backdrop that you can imagine without having to try very hard.
Overall, Deep in the Waves was an impressive and enjoyable album with some minor flaws I can overlook. This is definitely an album worth exploring. Recommended.
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