Captain of the Lost Waves is an extremely talented solo musician and performer, and you can find out more about him by checking out the interview I did with him here, this is also not the first time I’ve reviewed his music, and you can check those out by clicking here and here.
‘Isles Of Sopholore’ has a very distinct 1940s vibe to it at the beginning, the crisp static notes you associated with old tv broadcasts, and the beeping of morse code, before slowly being washed over by transcendent melody, that just flows over you, relaxing and easing your soul. However much like the intro, the outro to the track, has morse code beeping again, coupled with the slightest hints of more modern ringtones, almost taking us through a journey in time, across 1 minute and 57 seconds.
‘Circus of Morality’ has a soft, swaying melodic beat, rising and falling, you can almost time it with your breathing, and just become completely absorbed in this track.I love the Captain’s vocals, he has a note of melancholic whimsy to his voice that seems both natural and works perfectly with the music he creates, and it’s very noticable in this track.
‘Uniforms’ has a different energy to the last two tracks, the melody is slightly more discordant, and his vocals have a more mournful tone to it, but he still manages to back a lot of performance into it as well. What I love about the Captain is that he’s not just one thing, his music reveals all his experiences, and talent, and shows that he recognises that being a musician, isn’t just about singing well, or playing the right combination of instruments in a proficient manner, but telling stories and weaving a clear narrative through each track.
‘Brain’ changes things up again, faster, staccato, echoed vocals, and a quirky, almost upbeat energy to it, that’s captivating, and you just get caught up in the fast paced, but clearly delivered song. I may have mentioned this before, but in broad strokes The Captain reminds me of an American steampunk musical comedy group called Steam Powered Giraffe, both manage to create these fantastical musical performances.
‘Berlin Between the War’ returns to the war/period feel evoked by the opening track, but through the lens of The Captain’s pensive and daydreamy circus tent, and that is how I always imagine his songs being performed, in a macabre sort of big top circus, with him as the ringmaster. I can’t exactly put my finger on why, but listen to the tracks and see if you get what I mean. This track is slower, but with faster strings played throughout that act as a counterpoint, and it works so well.
‘Drifting’ kicks things back up again, more energy, a simpler song, but it’s still another impressive entry in what’s shaping up to be a phenomenal album. I like this one a lot, it’s honest and sweet and it really gets stuck in your head once you’ve heard it.
‘January’ slower again, showing a careful balance to the album as a whole, and it’s a perfect middle of the album track, easing you down, soothed by a bittersweet melody of a month, and it’s amazing, how cogent and narratively inclined The Captain can be about a month of the year.
‘Mr Hollywood’ is another lovely melody that just kind of grips you, not because of speed or energy but just because it’s gentle and beautiful, and it’s just kind of spellbinding in a way that you only get with a work of pure heart and soul.
‘This Boat’ continues on the same tone and energy as the previous track, and it’s at this point I feel compelled to point out that I don’t usually discuss lyrics in a song, feels too much like spoilers, and besides I don’t want to explain the song for you, I want to discuss my thoughts and feelings to encourage you to check it out for yourself, but with each track I am becoming more and more impressed by The Captain’s lyrical skill, he manages to craft these amazing songs with what seems like ease.
‘Hating Hate’ is probably my favourite on the track, I loved the quirky, high energy strings, and the fiery lyrics, I love the building feel of track and just for the review I probably listened to it a half dozen times, just drawn in by the almost frenzied, and yet controlled instrumental sections, and again, The Captain’s melodic voice which carries is through.
‘Pantomime’ is another more upbeat track, but as I mentioned up top, I always get a slightly melancholy feel from The Captain’s voice which adds a nice counterpoint to the track. I tend to enjoy just hearing new music, so it’s become harder and harder to describe or pin down what I like personally, like what’s my genre, my music preference, but in a word, it’s this, songs like this, ones that are unique, a little offbeat, and a nice blend of emotions.
‘Earworm’ I hate repeating myself but wow, this is just a masterclass in how to make music, it has all the elements I like about his other tracks, fused into one wonderful, ardent theme, it’s just so fluid and well composed.
‘Orange Puddle Soup’ is a strange one, not too like the other songs on the album, but it works well, and eases you gently out of the calm of the last song, setting you up just perfectly for the final track. It’s not as densely packed musically as the previous tracks, but it really does something good, I think in fact it takes the second spot for my personal favourites on the album.
‘The Seat That Can’t Be Sat On’ returns to the same kind of energy and feel established throughout the rest of the album, and it’s a strong closer to an album that has impressed me at every turn. If I can leave you with a final message, I would strongly urge you to check out Hidden Gems Chapter II because you will not regret it.
So that’s what I thought of Captain of the Lost Waves album ‘Hidden Gems: Chapter II’ and if you want to check that out for yourself then head on over to Spotify. if you want to keep up to date with The Captain then follow him on Facebook and Twitter or visit his website.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/