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Xavi Reija - Resolution CD (album) cover


Xavi Reija


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.62 | 6 ratings

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3 stars Review originally posted at

Warning: I warn you friends, about my lack of knowledge about drums and its techniques, styles and players, probably drums are my least favorite instrument in a regular band, and though I am aware of its value, it is difficult for me to listen and review music where drums play the main role.

Having said that, I thank again Leonardo from Moonjune Records for introducing me to Xavi Reija, a Spanish talented musician, a drummer who has been willing to spread his tunes in other countries, and whose first album "Resolution" saw the light this year, and it is receiving good criticism nowadays. Well, I'll do my best for this review, but remember what I said first. For this album, Reija plays with a couple of friends, that as a power trio, offer a long album where drums rule, but when a salad of sounds and styles can be perceived.

Its first track is "Flying to Nowhere" which sounds like a jam in the first moments, with a delicate sound in which guitars stand out, above drums and bass; but after a couple of minutes, the sound gets louder and even rockier, so the three instruments now take the attention of the listener. There is a pause, and the structure begins again, I am not that fan of that pause, I think the beauty of the music was dissolved, and though later they put the sufficient energy that made me feel pleased, I blame that pause to not make me qualify this as a fabulous track.

In "Macroscope" one can feel now the role of the drummer as the main character, though later bass and guitar appear and put their great grain of sand, Reija play his drums and put different figures all over the song (please, my apologies, I know nothing about drum termination, so I cannot explain more precisely). Well, the first part becomes a ghost after some minutes, where a kind of distorted guitar takes the leadership and brings a truly strange passage, which to my ears, is completely unnecessary. Then the trio returns and creates new rhythms and figures, with a more solid and freer drummer. The next song is "Shadow Dance", and when I listen to it, I start thinking the album was recorded from improvisations and jams, though I am not sure if they actually composed and created structures, of they just let the music fly and flow. Anyway, the melody does not exist here, so after a minute I felt lost, and never recovered my interest in this particular track.

"Dreamer" is one of the longest songs here. The percussion sound is repetitive, but this time addictive, so it does not matter what the other instruments do, the strange noises they create, my head keeps moving. Minutes later the music becomes louder, like drone and crazy, it cannot be described with a single musical label, the noise/sound is there, you just have to decide if you take it or leave it. I liked it, but it is not definitely something easy to dig. Next one is "Abyss" and I thing there is something common in most (if not all) of the songs, there are loads of stops and pauses, which honestly damage my listening pleasure, so the music is fractured and fragmented that I sometimes lose some of the pieces, and never manage to gather them again. This happened to me with this track.

"Unfinished Love" is more interesting, rockier, with punch and energy. This time the song does have a rhythm, so one can feel it and move the body. I like the strings, though their sound is distorted on purpose, it sounds clean. "The John's Song" follows the same style, actually it could be a second part of Unfinished Love, due to that distorted sound of the bass, and the same rhythm and figures produced by drums. After two and a half minutes the mandatory pause appears, and cuts the power and the emotion that was previously built. I am sorry Xavi, but with these pauses my interest decreases, no matter the last minutes are powerful again.

The sound in resolution is different, constant drums as background, while soft bass lines accompany and the guitar notes sound every here and there. The sound is almost quiet, but it never ceases, we are always listening to something, those strings that produce a nervous sound, and that drums that make enigmatic nuances. A strange track, again not easy to dig, but I liked it.

"Gravity" is the longest song, and it also brings intermittent noises, a guitar here, a bass there, while drums constantly plays. Seems the trio is having fun, enjoying the jam, but there is a point when it becomes difficult for the listener, in my case, I found several moments in this piece and in other songs, where I just wanted to skip them. But well, maybe for drummers this might be more interesting in a professional way. The last song is "Welcome to the End" and I cannot deny that my mind says "yeeeeah, at last", I am not a man who loves long albums, there are some outstanding ones that no matter its length, I can listen to them over and over, but this one has been really tough, it is so long, and difficult to enjoy.

I have no doubt that Xavi Reija and his trio are talented musicians, but the music offered here is not something I would truly suggest, as much as I tried, I can easily say I did not like it, but well, you know music is a matter of tastes. Hope some of you readers, have a different experience and help these guys approach success.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |


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