Monday, March 25, 2013

Deas Vail - Birds & Cages


Track Listing:
4. Cages
5. Birds
12. Atlantis

Although I'm providing YouTube links to the songs, I'd strongly suggest you
listen to the tracks via Spotify or iTunes as the sound on the YouTube videos
is altered in order to avoid copyright issues.

Welcome to Try The Calamari, where music meets marinated squid rings (The tagline is still in the works). Today I will be reviewing the jaunty and beatific Birds & Cages by Deas Vail. Deas Vail—meaning "humble servant of God"—is apply named for it's Christian influences as the band uses their music as an outlet for their faith.

The band is made up of the singer and pianist Wesley Blaylock, backup vocalist and keyboardist Laura Blaylock, bassist Justin Froning. percussionist and drummer Wes Saunders, and guitarist Andy Moore. The instruments are very definitive—especially when it comes to the piano and guitar. Wesley Blaylock has a subtle yet beautiful voice as he exhibits his range of vocals (I know I say I don't like the compare artists, but he's essentially the male version of Imogen Jennifer Heap from Imogen Heap and Frou Frou).

The album begins with a sprightly, uplifting track that flaunts Wesley's vocals along with an array of string instruments including a violin. The Things You Were is a great way to showcase the album due to the varying pitches and the interesting breakdown at 2:35 where the track takes on a new sound altogether. It steadily builds up until the point that it reverts back to the original tempo. Also, we get to hear Laura's euphonic vocals if only for a moment.

Growing Pains has is homogeneous with the initial track while carrying a slightly more upbeat pace; whereas, Excuses  is a track that's primarily dominated by guitar and Wesley's vocals. Following up with a moderate tempo and slight increase in the variety of sound is Cages.

However, the song that I believe truly dominates the album is Birds. This song is heavy in piano, and the listener is able to appreciate the full range of Wesley's voice. The piano is eventually drowned out by a flood of guitar and percussion for moments in time during the song, but it consistently resumes its position at the forefront throughout the track.

Following BirdsTell Me introduces a brief intermission through steady, soothing vocals over a gentle piano. Dance In Perfect Time is similar in sound to The Things You Were and Growing Pains, but Sunlight picks up the pace with an upbeat tempo. Aside from Birds, I'd say this is one of the better tracks on the album, especially when the band uses the full extent of their instruments at the 1:03 mark.
Puzzles And Pieces takes the tone down a notch, to say the least. This is a very cerebral and calming track, even moreso than the rest of the songs on the album. The Great Physician starts off very much in the same way as the previous track, but at 2:10, Wes picks up the pitch of his vocals and a guitar rings forth over the rest of the instruments.

The album closes with the tracks The Leaper and Atlantis which, like a lot of the tracks, carry that all too familiar sound.

Now, although this album lacks a bit in diversity, Wes can correct this issue using his range and cerebral vocals. I would have liked to have seen a more colorful display of tempo, but I suppose it could be argued that it's never wise to fix what's not broken. I suggest you listen to the album and decide for yourselves whether or not the album carries a unique aura. Though overall, I really enjoyed Birds & Cages, and I cannot deny that it is a spectacular album with a celestial sound.

Final Verdict:


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