Scott Chasolen
"Solitude Speaks"

(Amarca Records, Inc. 2003)Scott Chasolen - Solitude Speaks

Clear, crisp vocals and piano playing that varies in style from jazz to almost classical best define Scott Chasolen's "Solitude Speaks." But just when you think you have Chasolen's album figured out, he goes and adds a moog synthesizer -- did not expect that, did you? Oscillating little from his original starting point, "Solitude Speaks" stays focused and presents eleven straightforward, likable songs.

Opening with the light and up beat "On and On," Chasolen sets the pace for the album: a mix of jazzy and poppy instrumentation with introspective and thoughtful lyrics. "You Knew You Would," which includes one of the album's several well done piano passages, has a strong chorus set in a flowing structure that seems to have a free form feel to it. "Am I following your footsteps/Or are your footsteps following me?/I turn around to look/But there's nothing to see," Chasolen sings those memorable words on the slow and careful "Footsteps." Introducing some new elements, specifically the addition of some electronic sounds, "Back Again" offers a nice change of pace while remaining smooth and serene, a theme "Just the Same" continues.

"The Lift," a melodically driven song with an up beat tone, uses blending vocals reminiscent of Sean Lennon's "Into the Sun" album. Chasolen changes things up with "Things Between" with well executed jazz focused instrumentation highlighted by his own piano playing and light percussion while "A Line Through Time" is more of an easy listening instrumental. Using piano and light percussion again on the understated "So Many Roads" as the album's final and title track, "Solitude Speaks," is a quiet piano and vocals ballad.

Chasolen provides several variations of his principal sound on "Solitude Speaks," blending a variety of sounds, instruments and genres to create a smooth and soft album that still has the ability to get loud when it needs to. Thoughtful and positive lyrics make up many of the songs but it is Chasolen's clean sound with both his vocals and piano playing that tend to stand out.

B

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