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CARM - CARM Music Album Reviews

CARM - CARM Music Album Reviews
On his solo debut—assisted by Sufjan Stevens, Justin Vernon, and Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan—the multi-instrumentalist rethinks the horn’s role as an album’s driving creative force.

CJ Camerieri, the horn-playing co-founder of chamber ensemble yMusic, begins and ends his debut solo album with repose; in between, there is murk. Camerieri has recorded with Paul Simon, Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, the National, and, once, Taylor Swift, and two of those famous friends, Stevens and Justin Vernon, join him on the album’s bookending songs. Expectedly, they’re the most familiar-sounding entries on CARM. “Song of Trouble,” co-written and arranged with Stevens, begins with a procession of Camerieri’s brass and is tenderly blotted with French horn and trumpet as it develops into a recognizable Stevens hymn. “Land,” featuring Vernon, is graceful and pastoral. They are light moments on an otherwise overcast album, one that is often surprising in structure, if not mood.
After its wintry opener, CARM is dense and foreboding. One after another, the songs take on different shades of black, with Camerieri’s horns adding glinting accents. At times, they’re the focal point, as on “Nowhere,” where they buzz and swirl, punctuating the steady groove with staccato pulses. Elsewhere, Gayngs leader Ryan Olson’s production takes over: “After Hours” borrows from dubstep with its blown-out bass and threatening, chopped-up vocal sample, using just a bit of trumpet to add color. What’s unshakeable is the absolute darkness within which Camerieri operates. Dread is pervasive. Vernon’s sampled howls, for instance, are littered across “Invisible Walls,” a track that also features “feedback” in the credits. But a surfeit of bleak, minor-key compositions offering little in the way of release or resolution leaves the album feeling top-heavy, no matter how finely detailed the individual songs are.

Throughout CARM, Camerieri attempts to rethink what it means for the horn to be an album’s driving creative force. Frequently, rather than casting himself as the protagonist, he assumes a supporting role. Camerieri’s trumpet and French horn are part of the story, and while they guide the proceedings, they don’t always feel the need to stand out.

Some of the best moments come when Camerieri is somewhere between showman and accompanist. He takes the lead on the easy-going “Soft Night,” but his own synths, Mike Boschen’s trombone, and a rustling beat from Amati help complete a piece that feels like it progresses and tells a story, wordlessly mirroring the pop structure of the opener and closer. “Already Gone,” featuring Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan, is balanced and gentle, Camerieri’s horns acting like pillows for the hushed vocals. In stark contrast is the Mouse on Mars collaboration “Scarcely Out,” a skittering composition that follows the duo’s rhythmic sensibilities; it’s a fascinating, if hyperactive, experiment. But “Song of Trouble” and “Land” remain the moments when Camerieri seems most comfortably situated as a complementary force, the brass that amplifies a piece to greater effect. Here, it feels like he’s returned home.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
CARM - CARM Music Album Reviews CARM - CARM Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, February 09, 2021 Rating: 5

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