Melvin Alan

Wonderful Life

Review written by Wololo Audio

Contact: wololo.audio@gmail.com

 

“Wonderful Life” is a foray into Melvin Alan’s consciousness, and provides an enchantingly introspective look at the human condition and its contrasts and paradoxes. The story unfolds as a 12-track alt-rock LP - a 4 piece consisting of Corey Curtis (bass), Alvaro Rojas (guitar), Sam Cartwright (drums/percussion), Tyson Nelson (keyboards) and last but not least: Melvin Alan on vocal duties. The album was produced and recorded by Eric Mosher (AC/DC, Nickelback, Keith Urban) in the legendary Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, BC.

 

Track one entitled ‘‘Ragged Mind’ reels the listener in right from the start, with a catchy, yet sullen vocal line that meanders atop a bouncy swung groove and beautifully strummed chordal progressions. It’s a strong opener, and does a fantastic job of setting the tone for what sets up to be a phenomenal 12 track album.

 

‘Down on Your Knees’ illustrates Melvin Alan’s ear for carving out ballads that get under your skin. Riddled with subtleties and nuances in the instrumentation, the track cradles the listener through its peaks and troughs - a delightful track that simply begs you to hit the replay button.

 

‘Wonderful Life’ is much more than just a collection of songs out of Melvin Alan’s repertoire. It is a cohesive, flowing entity that exuberates craftsmanship, attention-to-detail and dynamism. A personal favourite of ours is ‘Where Are You?’. The airy, reverb-drenched guitars carry a spellbinding weight of emotion, and coupled with Melvin’s powerful vocals the track simply beats you down into submission, coercing the listener to let the harmonies and tones wash them away. The track builds and builds, with a saturated drumline over a soaring guitar solo that takes the listening experience above the clouds.

 

 

‘I Fall For You’ easily lands a firm place in our daily rotation, for its strong nod to the era of power-pop that is quite reminiscent of Tears For Fears and Depeche Mode. It’s one of the more sensual songs on the album, and in true Melvin Alan fashion, it employs a strong contrasting energy between sections that allows the hook to appear larger than life when it explodes into the chorus. This here is songwriting magic!

 

Not one to shy away from a bit of the good ol’ blues, ‘One Last Story’ delivers an authentic experience that is full of spice and flavour. The album is as dynamic as it is colourful, and is testament to Melvin Alan’s ability to weave in a diverse set of influences that include the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Tears For Fears, Van Morrison and Pink Floyd to name a few.

 

Overall the album breathes with a cool sensitivity and ease, and is full of feel, changing moods, variety and excitement-as witnessed by the bouncy Wonderful Life with its anthemic choruses. Its subtleties are engaging and keep the listener hooked with its charismatic allure, driven by the intricate instrumentation and stellar vocal performances. If this album is anything to go by, we are more than keen to hear what Melvin Alan has in store for us next.

 

 

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Artist Bio

Armed with his acoustic handmade Takimine and vintage telecaster, Melvin Alan crafts immediate, appealing tunes filled with hooky choruses, great melodies, and pleasing vocals. The instrumentation is practical but flavoured with spice and dynamics. It’s precise without being mechanical and is full of colour. Overplaying is an ultimate faux pas for this artist, instead he focusses on groove, feel, and finesse. Meandering sections that create an underlying mood provide the undercurrent of his pieces.

 

Melvin Alan uses improvisation as his primary method of creating music. He commences with creating a rhythmic groove with one or two chords, from which his melodies emerge naturally. Often in the songwriting process and while improvising with abandonment, he reaches a heightened state of awareness and timelessness, where there is no limit to the possibilities. This unorthodox, yet thoroughly intriguing method is likely to lead to a complex and compelling musical evolution that is worth looking forward to.

 

The result of his current methodology is blissful, metaphysical tracks that transcend time. Heavily rooted in introspection, Melvin Alan’s sound examines life’s purpose through music. Songs chronicle stories of the human condition: its peaks and valleys, struggles and realisations. Other themes touched upon are paradox, separation, longing, joy, and most of all, the inner journey.

 

Perhaps it is Melvin Alan’s past experiences practicing yoga and his many travels to India that accounts for his mystical sound. He has performed in front of thousands in India at devotional celebrations. The setting and music make perfect sense- his songs full of mystic analogies and metaphors resonating with an audience yearning for knowledge and self realization.

 

 

Melvin Alan has 3 upcoming albums: "Wonderful Life", and its followup LP which will be released in mid 2018; and his "original" New York album produced by Grammy award winning Producer, Malcolm Burn and which will be released in late 2018, or early 2019.

 

Melvin Alan's music is a conduit that breathes and leaves space for the mind to pause and reflect, and perhaps reveal new doors of perception. As a former teacher and student of yoga, he has the skill and capability to impart his wisdom through his sound and lyrics. Yet one does not have to be seeking enlightenment or a heightened consciousness to appreciate his music. The clean melodies, hazy atmosphere, and gratifying vocals are uplifting to anyone and are easy to get lost in. Both comforting and entertaining, his sound caters to all ages and all walks of life. No matter who you are, it isn’t hard to appreciate the otherworldly positivity that Melvin Alan’s music imparts.

 

 

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