Trees of Gold
2006 / Eversound
Review by Michael Debbage
Back in 2004, John Adorney released his third effort courtesy of the superb Waiting On The Moon that some may have wondered if Trees of Gold would fall in its shadow. Quite the contrary as his newest creation is as valuable as the title would suggest, resulting in another stellar performance from John Adorney.
Much like its predecessor, Adorney flirts with several genres mixing New Age, Classical and World themes into a conglomerate fusion of precious gold. The album starts with “Swept Away” that includes the delicate chants of Daya that are in total unison with Adorney’s fluttering keyboards and soft rhythmic percussion. Though it is a very enjoyable composition, it is a little safe and is very reminiscent of the prior album’s opening track “Always”. The same cannot be said for the title track that includes sweeping strings, offbeat percussion and a choir that includes assistance from several label mates including Diane Arkenstone. It probably ranks as one of Adorney’s better compositions.
Complex rhythmic patterns continue with “Yilowe” that also include the guest vocals of African Marcel Adjibi. Alongside Adorney’s more contemporary guitar work reminiscent of Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler, the song is a symphony of different worlds and cultures blending boldly yet beautifully. Otherwise, there are even classical tendencies explored courtesy of the more regal “Shades Of Amber” that also features flutist Richard Hardy alongside Adorney’s cello work. Yes, John is an extraordinary multi-instrumentalist who also excels as a songwriter and producer.
Otherwise, John provides his listeners with many reflective and mellow moments best heard via the appropriately titled “Whisper” and the very soothing mid tempo themes of “The Waterwheel”. Both songs feature Adorney entirely on guitar and keyboards with some very nominal percussion work that does not intrude upon the more conservative themes that are being explored.
Anchored in a field of gold, Trees of Gold presents no fillers with every song showing the class and quality associated with John Adorney. Though it may not branch out as significantly by borrowing from the successful formula of its predecessor, Trees of Gold shows there is still enough exploration that forges both familiarity and freshness at the same time.
January 1, 2006