CD REVIEW: The Missing Parts - Suenos
By Cyrus Rhodes - 08/18/2011 - 01:01 AM EDT
Artist: Band: The Missing Parts
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Acoustic folk/blues/jazz
Sounds Like: The Missing Parts
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 5/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Elegy for the Living Dead, Insomnia’s Lullaby, Ancient Discord
Weakness: Slightly Winded Songs, Lack of Rhythmic Base, Dry Catalouge
The Missing Parts are an acoustic quartet based out of Tucson, AZ. Their latest CD entitled Suenos was released in 2011. Band members include Oliver Blaylock (Violin), Douglas Francisco (Lap Steel Guitar, Banjo) Brian Hullfish (Cello, Harmonica) & Pat Wright (Acoustic Guitar).
The CD takes to flight with “The March” a methodical intro piece that flows & ebbs its way through to musical fruition. This first piece serves up impressive Spicy Jam Band vibe full of passionate Acoustic Guitars, Violins, Lap Steel & passionate overtones. The CD makes a great first impression & literally grabs our attention with its passionate musical flow & ebb effect. Track 2 “Elegy for the Living Dead” shifts gears a bit with its hypnotic groove, full tilt harmonica/Spanish melody, dynamic rhythms, & hooky vibe. Track 3 “Drizzle” a very dynamic piece that serves up mesmerizing rythem flow against infectious banjo, guitar & violin. The CD makes a great first impression providing 3 entertaining musical experiences in a row. Equally as impressive is how TMP’s signature is - something that goes beyond pigeonholing. I can hear everything from Spanish Folk, Saloon Jazz, Classic Americana, R&B & even a dash of Arabic passion. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice most of the songs are very dynamic & passionate in nature, capturing the essence of live spontaneity. The music itself fills the sonic space with what I would describe as chaotic tranquility with all the excitement you would expect out of a vintage live performance. The musicianship though extremely conservative provides a lot of musical variety. All in all the CD has some truly impressive moments, showcasing impressive chops, dynamic grooves all rich in melody & musical passion. What’s even more impressive is how well all the instruments share the sonic space equally - like a well oiled machine. From passionate “Magmatic Forces” to chaotic “Insomnia’s Lullaby” to striking “Duel” & Ancient Discord” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with ”Farewell” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I love the line-up however one flaw – music this dynamic needs more of a rhythmic base. Instruments such as Tabla, Djembe, Congas, Castanets, Guiro, Snare Drum, Kick Drum, Tambourine would definitely add a much needed rhythmic foundation to the catalogue. Also it’s fair to say the catalogue goes down a bit dry without drums & percussion. It's my strong opinion that not having these instruments present was a clear mistake especially for this type of production.
After spending some time with The Missing Parts it's hard to find any solid weaknesses worth mentioning. Instead as the CD progressed I became more & more impressed with the production as a whole. Make no bones about it these cats can play. What I like most about the CD is the hearing a truly unique quartet that still believes in delivering amazing chops via & passionate live performance – testament to many rehearsal hours together no doubt. Most people will agree live performances pack a powerful punch & are quite dynamic in nature. This CD captures the essence of all that & more. There’s not really a weak song on this entire catalog period! The musicianship is first rate, the songs are very dynamic & passionate. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Lastly - the playing, & writing abilities of the The Missing Parts are both amazing & will keep you fully entertained. Suonos – need I say more?
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