Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged orchestral

Letter from New Virginia

Did you know that one of iTunes musical categories is “unclassifiable”? Such a description is apt for the music of Donny Hue and the Colors. The group uses many unusual instruments, including autoharp, melodica, glockenspiel, and theremin, as well as guitar and organ on an album that can alternately be described as psychedelic, minimalist, and orchestral. The instrumental “Into the Woods” plays like the opening of a movie, setting the tone for the album.

I Am the West

Love is complicated. What seems to be heading in one direction can catch you off-guard and go someplace else. So too, Lovers depart from the realm of singer/songwriter and venture into the world of electro-pop. Lovers' latest album, I Am the West, opens with catchy synth rhythms coupled with the sweet, airy vocals of Carolyn Berk.

Circle of Water Life Suite (2/27/2009)

There was a sparrow lose in Kovler Family hall. "Excuse me," I sotto-vocced to a worker. "Are you aware that there is a sparrow loose in here?" She nodded. "It's been here since five." The feathers fluttered overhead. It did not chirp, nor did it crap on the carp of bronze, or the verdigrised octopi that hold the chandeliers' lamps to their chains.  Although the interloper did not follow us into the hall and improvise, the scheduled singing was splendid, particularly 21st Century Sharecropper's Blues—"Give me my money. Give me back my mind." Consuming culture recalibrates.

Oh Perilous World

Oh Perilous World, chamber-rock trio Rasputina’s sixth full-length album, is a study in what happens when blind ambition meets undeniable talent in a head-to-head death match. Talent usually wins out, but not without its causalities. In this case, Rasputina has created an album filled with gorgeous melodies and string arrangements that are undoubtedly impressive to both casual listeners and the aficionados.


Finland's own multi-instrumentalist Astrid Swan’s debut album, Poverina, was released on Minty Fresh Records on May 22. The opening track, "They Need You if They Think You Love Them," starts out gently with a tapping glockenspiel and cleverly transitions into Astrid's husky voice and piano. The arrangement is intense and dramatic at times with almost a full orchestra of instruments. It is hard not to compare Ms.