There is something to be said for music that borrows from a variety of different sources and blends them into a unique sound that is both sonically pleasing and emotionally riveting. Justin Norvell has taken his talents and experience performing in other bands and put them on full display with his album Stolen Moments, 45 unpredictable minutes that take you from the beach to space and right back into the comfort of your own home (or the party, or your car, or wherever you may be enjoying these tunes).
“Car Window,” the first track on the album, starts amid a pulse of 80’s electro rock and tumbles into a slightly pop-flavored sensibility with a gritty layer of grunge and employs a bit of the technique described above. I appreciated this song more after hearing “Feels Like Forever (Car Window Pt.2),” the alternative rock/thermal filter replica of the former piece. These two songs are best enjoyed exactly as they’re arranged by the artist; waiting until the halfway point for this particular musical epiphany brings freshness at just the right point.
Some of the songs employ this neat trick of changing the sound and instruments used halfway through the song and much without warning. Or, the song will appear to head in one direction, and suddenly will take on a whole new persona. You can find this technique “In Tension,” which goes through a number of different though interrelated phases. “Save My Life,” along the same lines, is the most artful representation of ‘ha, gotcha!’ that I’ve heard in a song in quite some time.
Additionally, some of the songs paint vivid pictures of seemingly normal, everyday situations. For example, “Nightswim” begins with a soothing, gentle serenade that is eclipsed by a free running chorus. This song sparkles and shimmers with an unbridled freedom, reminiscent of the feeling of being in an ocean at night, helped along by the sound of water being moved and quietly splashed about. Meanwhile, “The Unraveling” sounds like the trail left behind by a ball of yarn being rolled across the floor. The appearance of alternating vocals brings a new dimension to this song and work really well in setting the mood.
When the album closed with the strikingly beautiful “I Am The Distant Light On Your Horizon,” I began to put the pieces together and finally began to recognize all of the little nuances hidden within these songs. The title itself, Stolen Moments, is incredibly indicative of what’s found here: a trove of little descriptions and situations, at least one of which is sure to strike the heart of anyone who listens close enough. This album captured memories long buried, ushered away in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and pushed them back into the forefront of the busy mind. If you would like to take a walk through the fleeting pictures of the human mind, definitely give this album a listen.
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