The new album by Canadian artist Rick Miller is yet another fine example on how to create ear-friendly and apparently direct music while adding it with many fine details, well composed instrumental passages and a candy tasted symphonic feel.
In the well designed and straight framing path that Rick Miller has been following, especially since Dreamtigers, In the Shadows appears as a tremendously solid and focused release. One that increases the slightly dark approach while keeping and in many ways improving the overall melodic sense, perfectly based in fully enjoyable harmonies and instrumental tapestries, orchestrated (especially by Cello and Violin) passages and excellent guitar soloing.
The music presented here visits many landscapes, though especially focusing on the emotional voyages through semi-dark states of mind. The nostalgia and melancholic factors are not only quite imbreeded in the music itself, but they reach new levels in this artit’s work, providing a sense of evolution from previous releases. It’s a more refined than ever musicality, fragile but consistent at the same time, and utterly enjoyable. The listener is invited to seat comfortably, put the CD playing, and travel in his thoughts, like flying out of the window and visit green landscapes under a gray cloudy sky, watching the game of shadows all around, from a purely emotional perspective.
While the music has, like said, slightly shifted to more direct grounds, still the artful melodic rock hits all my right buttons. And I confess I’ve been hugely enjoying all Rick’s later releases.
The guitar soloing units continue being one of the stronger points in this artist’s music, with his semi-Gilmour/semi-Latimer approach, in languid and melancholic playing, always with a very very strong sense of melody and positioning.
It is curious to see how, in other ways, the music of Rick has been evolving. The artist has also incorporated some new approaches in his musicality. Sometimes is a strange sense of desertic atmospheres (in a way reminding me of Gomez), other times it’s a bizarre country tangent, and the distinct neo-prog basis is enriched by sudden symphonic passages. The likes of Daniel Gauthier, Aka Moon, Metamorphosis and solo David Gilmour are strong points of contact and can help the reader framing what sort of music is this all about.
I confess I’ve became a fan of Rick Miller, and MALS is doing a great job in giving this artist a chance and a well deserved window of opportunity.
If you like what you’ve read, do yourself a favour and jump on Rick Miller’s haunting, beautiful, melancholic music.