Waiting for the Moon
2004 / EverSound
Review by Michael Debbage
Multi instrumentalist John Adorney is not just capable of playing several instruments but is also very capable of playing them well. With the ability to perform competently on the guitar, keyboards and cello, along with his knack for a melody would suggest a long and prosperous musical lifeline for this rising star.
Released on the independent label EverSound, this is John's third effort since 1998 but clearly his best to date. His prior efforts were The Beckoning and The Other Shore and both were impressive. But they also reflect a musician that is progressing in his compositional prowess. The most impressive factor of the latest release is the artist's unwillingness to pigeonhole himself. While the album has a very smooth finish to it via its production and compositional qualities, Adorney keeps it very interesting by flirting with several genres. Add the occasional limited vocals and chants from Daya Rawat reminiscent of Enya's style and you have an album that is so much more than just memorable.
Those of you that are purist when it comes to instrumental albums may want to adventure out and give this album an opportunity as Daya is only prominent on "A Butterfly In The Well" and the title track. Otherwise, her vocals are used more for effect and are most successful on Adorney's very unforgettable upbeat-opening track "Always". Equally as strong is the optimistic "In Bloom" that includes an infectious chord progression mixed with a swirl of keyboard arrangements mixed in with some very mild vocalization.
On the more upbeat side there is the Bulgarian influenced "The River's Secret" which features Chris Bleth on the English horn and John on the Bulgarian tambura and cello. But the most distinct portion of the song is the poignant piano bridge from Adorney. Equally as soulful is the lazy title track that clocks in close to seven minutes, which features the lengthy restrained electric guitar work of Adorney. His style is very reminiscent of Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler.
Meanwhile, the album winds down in a fine Enya fashion with the spiraling keyboards countered by some gorgeous flowing acoustic guitar work on the appropriately titled song "Flow Of Love". It doesn't hurt to add the light and fluttering "The Dance", which focuses on Adorney's adorable cello work flirting with the flute work of Richard Hardy. Daya's vocalization only adds grace and charm to this poised song.
With the exception of the electronic percussion work that on a very rare occasion sounds thin in spots, there is very little to criticize here. Adorney has presented us with his best work to date and this ranks as one of the better releases of 2004. While Adorney may be waiting for the moon, much like the subject matter in the album title, the music is always accessible yet at the same time mysterious.
January 1, 2004
Review by Michael Debbage