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CD REVIEW: Randori- Trip
By Jon Stewart - 08/25/2006 - 05:19 PM EDT

Artist: Randori
Album: Trip
CD Review: Randori is not a bunch of teenagers that formed a band because they couldn’t get dates on Saturday night. The team of Jason Pascoe and Mike Ian are thoughtful, detail-attentive songwriters that have conceived a CD of twelve fully-realized, mature tunes that don’t overly intellectualize the drama of living life to its fullest. The band’s Japanese-derived name refers to dealing with chaos and we get splendiferous examples from each song.

The craftsmanship is apparent from the first song and continues throughout, exhibiting artful melancholy within each melody. Opening the CD is “Surprise Me”, a musically brilliant piece (with judicious use of a wah-wah peddle) that laments the inability to recognize a true love. Damesviolet, an Austin-based rock band that I admire, has a similar musical style, albeit less sophisticated and well- produced.

The second track “Wonderful You” begins a Beatlesque rummaging through emotions that will be an element Randori uses frequently in this album. The third track, “Nowhere To Hide”, is a beautifully haunting composition followed by an acoustic-driven “Your Life” with lyrics that contemplates things like “Inside you are hollow, the damage is done And this is your world…”.

“I Think You Should Know” and “Don’t Waste My Time” are odes to lovers that aren’t worth the time spent on them and are my two favorite songs on the CD. The remaining songs are elegant compositions that represent dogged pursuit of answers to life’s difficult questions.

I wish I’d seen a more raw song or two and the mix on the drummer was missing the fully-folded approach you see on a Stones album, but these are minor quibbles. A tour of Japan might also afford the band the time to write songs from a fresh perspective and perhaps re-introduce the chaos resolution so clearly sought by the band.

Grade: A-

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