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CD REVIEW: Mar Project - Mar Project I
By Ann Klein - 12/19/2004 - 01:03 PM EST

Artist: Band: Mar Project
Album: Mar Project I
CD Review: “Mar Project I/Mar Project” features the talents of Hiroshi Kono and co-produced/engineered by Roger Fife. It is always a pleasure to hear people making listen-able yet out to lunch music. I mean this in a really good way. The song “To The Winner’s (of Love)" is a strange combination of a stoned T-Rex vibe and something with a little more bubbly-pop – both sections marked by a time change. There’s something reminiscently 60s about this song which I really like. There’s a lot of space in the song, and every part is important. “Culturae E Ignoranza” is a latin flavored pop song – nice chorus. Those two songs set the tone for this quirky cd. I’m not totally sure what the direction is, but I'm ok with that. It’s an odd mixture of Brazilian/classical style guitar meets subtle electronics. I’m assuming there’s a drum machine on this, and not a drummer. I like the choices of sounds, although the songs might have more drama to them if there were a real drummer. But there’s something really unique about the use of acoustic guitar and understated electronics that is really appealing here. This album is good for working at the computer because it’s not in your face, but there’s always something surprising that’ll catch your ear. It’s drenched with stunning nylon string guitar -- a beautiful thing to hear, particularly with Brazilian or Italian vocals. Hiroshi Kono has worked hard at being a really good guitarist, and has gone to the trouble of learning to sing in three languages. I'm jealous... Quirky, easy to listen to, smart music – a little strange, but cool. Not a bad thing at all.

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