Man And Things is the solo project from Robert Ranaldi. He has been releasing a lot of music and at a fast pace. Last year we reviewed From Where The Sun Was. Since then he released Lost Key and Good Luck To Us, which is the one we will be reviewing today. Good Luck To Us is a far departure from his previous work in that he is moving away from the instrumental music and focusing on vocal based songs.
I’ll say that the move from Good Luck To Us takes a little patience. Ranaldi has a voice that takes some getting used to. He isn’t the best singer in the world and I think a little more reverb may have helped out on some of the songs. That being said he makes it work and the more I listened the more I appreciated it.
He starts the album off with “Move Me.” It begins with an atmospheric pad and his voice slowly fades as he starts singing, which I though was a bit odd. The song soon transitions to a guitar based verse, which is supported by bass and drums. “Move Me” doesn’t contain a clear-cut chorus and more or less plays on the initial riff.
One of the songs that first struck me was “Opium With a Shine” which combines ethereal synths and a hypnotic guitar riff. It also happens to be one of Ranaldi’s best vocal performances. His lyrics are poetic and ambiguous which leave room for interpretation. Another highlight is “So Many Ways” in which Ranaldi layers vocal harmonies with bending guitar strings. The chorus is infectious and somewhat memorable even upon first listen.
“It Never Did Stop Singing” contains what sounds like midi horns in one of his most avant-garde pieces while “The Future Is On” is a slow yet emotionally resonant piece that contains a lot of space for his vocals to breathe. As the album progresses “The Sun Goes Around Like It Should” and the closer “World Around Me” were both solid songs.
Ranaldi’s venture into vocal based is a decent start. That being said I still think he is going to need some tweaking with his new path. Overall, Good Luck To Us has some mishaps but still contains a number of inspired moments.
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