May 12, 2012
Geyser (Riad Michael)
Release Date: 09/06/2011
Label: Geyser Recordings
©2011 Geyser Recordings
Unlike Atmosphere, which I reviewed last year, Fifth crosses over to the ethereal side of the melodic spectrum and exhibits more of Geyser's flare for the experimental. The tracks feature less "analog" instrumentation than Atmosphere, and more synthesizer - making Fifth in many ways truer to Geyser's usual style. But comparisons aside, this album features brilliant sounds, which carry with them a touch of relaxing ("therapeutic," if you will) energy.
One particular quality of Fifth which is worth mentioning off the bat is that the best feature of album lies not in any one particular track, but rather the way in which the songs themselves are arranged. I'm not sure if they were composed deliberately to flow so well together or if they were created one-by-one and then carefully sequenced, but either way Geyser did an excellent job of developing an album that functions as a whole and exceeds the sum of its parts. The album kicks off with the dreamy "Play," and then works its way up and down akin to a story line's rise in action until "Closer" - the sixth and most obviously upbeat of the nine tracks - which is then reigned in by what can be best described as a tranquil suspense in track 7, "Apollo." From there the triumphant and joyful sounds of "Serpent" kick in, just before we get to chill out for the denouement in the final track "Chill."
In summary, if you're interested in investing in Fifth (available in digital format only, by the way), I highly recommend avoiding the temptation to download individual tracks and just go for the whole thing. It's best enjoyed in its entirety and its original order, so be sure to keep the shuffle setting on your device turned off to get the most of it.
Fifth is available on Amazon, iTunes, and a variety of other online distribution channels around the web.