Man And Things is a musical project by Robert Ranaldi. He’s a prolific artist and his latest is a five-song EP entitled Wondrous. He says, “Wondrous is a collection… written and recorded during late 2019 and early 2020. The idea behind this collection was to take a minimalist approach to the writing and arranging but also to draw out the lushness of the tunes.” After I listened to the music I had a better understanding of what he meant by that.
The album starts off with “It's Story Time” and I was getting some heavy vibes that seemed similar to The Beatles. It didn’t really feel like a fleshed out song in a traditional way. There are some distant angelic vocals and then this section with serene guitars. I really liked this song..
“Feeling Streams” was more fleshed out but is also a slower and chill song that felt like late night lounge music. It starts off very soft and the dynamics are soft as if any jarring movement would completely disrupt the song. There are digital horns that come in a little after the one-minute mark. The horns fit the song. There is a smooth and sweet guitar picking as the songs sort of drifts away.
“A Wonder For You And Me ” revolves around rolling drums, organ and great guitar riff. This song contains the best vocal work I have from heard from Ranaldi. “I Know Something You Don't" builds on minimalism and disparate instrumentation. The experimentation right off the bat are the strongest on this EP in a number of ways. I thought this song seemed very original.
“Just Drive” and it starts off with a great guitar melody. This song is a little more experimental but not too much so. It felt like an improvised jazz/blues/folk jam. On "Cry Me A Funny One" he utilizes guitar and synths while "Side to Side" sounds like a full band. The mood turns lush with "Try Dreaming Again" and stays lush with the closer "Smile
I would say Wondrous the strongest releases from Ranaldi. I feel like the sum of its parts is stronger than the individual songs so I recommend listening from beginning to end.
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