Richard Orrick’s newest album Lamenting the Absurd does just that, and as such, offers an interesting perspective on the singer/songwriter style of song creation. He clearly pulls influences from artists such as David Bowie, Prince and of Montreal, offering buoyant instrumentation combined with eccentric, sporadic vocals that often go right when you think they are about to go left.
I would first like to note on the production of the album and say that it is very, very solid, which certainly helps Orrick pull off the unique and risky style that he sets out to achieve. The vocals in particular sound great quality wise, which make up for Orrick’s occasional errors in pitch. Adding on to this, I do believe that some slight pitch correct would have helped the overall quality of the music, as the errors do detract from the sound from time to time.
But overall, I think that the album itself sounds great, and the production allows for Orrick’s music to be executed at its fullest potential. Songs such as “Fractured Personality” and “Make Believe” are good examples of the quality of production and performance deployed by Orrick and his team.
In the future, I would like to see Orrick pay a little closer attention to his vocal performances and execute them in a way that fits the underlying instrumentation a bit better. A minor issue with Lamenting the Absurd is that oftentimes I found the vocals to mismatch the instrumentation and vice versa. There was a lot of “odd and ordinary” combination portrayed through the voice and instruments, which can absolutely work, however I think Orrick would have benefited if he had focused more on creating a sort of cohesiveness between the two as opposed to such a separation.
Overall, I thought Lamenting the Absurd is a good album. It wasn’t anything I had not heard before, and it was not particularly innovative, but Orrick certainly achieves what he sets out to do; provide his listeners with a unique version of basic songs. In essence, this album is full of simplistic musical arrangements, structures and melodies, but they are executed in a manner that deviates from the status quo of pop music, and I applaud Orrick for setting out to accomplish this.
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