Favorite Icon, Full size
Album Review: Fall Into Winter
Bryan Carrigan
Cover image of the album Fall Into Winter by Bryan Carrigan
Fall Into Winter
Bryan Carrigan
2015 / Peonies Music
74 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Fall Into Winter is Bryan Carrigan’s sixth solo album of original electronic music and is quite possibly his most compelling recording to date. Two years in the making, the album could be described as seasonal (winter), but is NOT a holiday album per se. Carrigan says: “No jingle bells or Christmas covers were harmed in the making of this CD.” Capturing the feeling of winter rather than the events that take place during that time period, Carrigan’s music provides what could be considered the ultimate “chill” album! He expresses the cold and darker tones of that time of year, but also the stillness, beauty, and quiet reflection that seem to come with the slower pace of the season. Well, except for the holiday part, but this music can provide an antidote to the frantic pace that the holidays can bring. The album consists of eleven tracks that range from 3 - 6 1/4 minutes plus a 22 1/2 closing track. Carrigan has worked on the music for a very large number of films, television programs, and recordings in a variety of roles, so this isn’t the kid down the street who bought a new keyboard and proclaimed himself a musician. Carrigan is a master of electronic music and of creating moods and atmospheric qualities. The sound quality is crystal clear but never harsh, and the individual instrumental “voices” are rich and distinctive.

I really don’t have a favorite track on Fall Into Winter. I love the whole album and think it needs to be listened to in its entirety. It begins with “The Calm Before,” a haunting yet very beautiful piece that chills to the bone. I can almost feel an icy wind on my face as I imagine standing in the midst of the profound quiet of snow all around. This is NOT a winter scene out of Southern CA! “Tellings From the Raven” is a bit more melodic, but just a bit. The rhythm is lively and gently propels the piece as layers of instrumentation flow over the top of it. “Deepest of Night” goes very dark and still with occasional sparks of light that I would assume represent stars. There is a mysterious cast to the piece that isn’t at all threatening or frightening - just dark and intense. “A Hundred Winters Old” expresses majesty and awe while creating feelings of bitter cold and pristine beauty. “Snow Day” is much lighter and more magical, and includes the infectious sound of children’s laughter. “After the Rain” is very still and peaceful - guitar with atmospheric sounds. The playful rhythm that runs through all of “Behind the Wall” lightens the mood and counters the darker instrumentation - a magical mix! The epic “Comparing Snowflakes” is a study in subtlety and stillness, sustaining a mood of quiet chilliness for well over twenty-two minutes.

Bryan Carrigan has created a classic masterpiece in the ambient/ new age genres, one that I’m sure will garner him many “Best Of” awards for the year! It will be released on October 1 and will be available from bryancarrigan.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
September 26, 2015
This review has been tagged as:
Kathy's Favorites: 2015
More reviews of Bryan Carrigan albums