Follow the Mist
2008 / Tarvin Music
Review by Michael Debbage
After tolling over many years of labor hours associated with television productions, Stephen Peppos is now making up for lost time releasing not one but two solo efforts in the same year. After being treated to the progressive and at times dizzy Vertigo, Peppos takes the time to slow it down and allow his listeners to enjoy the view courtesy of the mellower Follow The Mist. Once again, Peppos fills his solo effort with memorable music but also gives it a namesake that vividly describes the musical landscape that you are about to hear.
The title of the album extends to the song titles suggesting a much more relaxed and laid back musical adventure. Overall this is true with the self titled opener creating a lazy mood but never at the expense of being trite. The chill factor increases with the follow up “The River” though Peppos does not hesitate to explore the entire width of his keyboard. Yet he still manages to keep it restrained and allow the listener to meander with the song.
The simple factor remains for several tracks by which time “The Search” arrives where the focus shifts to more ambient themes rather than a straight melody repeated by the spacey “Twinkling Of An Eye”. Though the album has its strengths and is once again a memorable recording one gets the impression that Peppos struggles with keeping it uncomplicated. In fact, “Angel Talk” may be pivotal in expressing this conflict as Peppos musically busts out at the seams countering quiet passages with a chaotic and super fast beat that parallels more with the musical exploration found on Vertigo.
With the exception of the ambient vocal work of Susan Yates and Kaitlin Danielle on the mid tempo yet more aggressive “Take Me Away”, Follow The Mist embodies the talents of Stephen Peppos who is not only the performer but also the composer and producer of this creation. Whether Peppos is more comfortable in this musical skin is up for debate. If pressed it would appear that the side effects of Vertigo may be preferred over the more mellow meanderings of Following The Mist. But it’s a close call.
August 19, 2008