Although Nick and the Band someimtes sounds like a live band at times when listening to the music on Foray into the unknown it is in fact a studio project. The songs on this album feel like loose improvised jam sessions that put the lead guitar in the forefront. Other instruments occasionally take the lead but most of the time the guitar is in charge.
Up first is "funky" which is an apt name for the song. It's certainly a funky jam session and that's all about all it is. He runs through predictable tropes that are fun enough for the locals at the dive bar but lack the sort of inventiveness that would have people remember it from other like-minded acts.
"Neshama" sort of feels the same as the opener. Everything sounds good. The guitar work is solid, the drumming is good and there are a lot changes. It's melodic music that has a slight groove the passes by you like the wind. What it fails to capture is a lot of emotion in either direction. That's not necessarily a bad thing but it certainly has a time and place. Up next is "infinite sadness" which sounds more like subtle melancholy. It revolves around atmospheric pads, endless lead guitar and a steady beat.
The eight-plus-minute "The Nicks and Pietr Green" definitely has some pleasant moments. “Latin flavour” certainly does have some Latin Flavour and in fact sounds like a distant cousin to Santana is while the broad sounding “mei mei Lin” just sounds like a lot of lead guitar.
Let me say that I do appreciate Foray into the unknown but there were some things I think could be improved. The most adverse element to me was the midi instruments, which were at times painfully obvious and contrasted with the organic instrumentation. I feel like some of the midi instruments gave the music at times a lounge-y/background type feel, which I’m pretty sure he wasn’t going for.
The songs have a very chill, content vibe, which is good if you kind of want to zone out or maybe dance like a hippie. However, I don’t think people will reach for this music when they are feeling an intense emotion from something like a breakup or a major life change. At some point in the future he may want to consider ditching the midi sounds as much as possible.
Foray into the unknown feels like someone who is content. Little highs, little lows but nothing too extreme.
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