As you would expect with any of his work, Allen Rapadas‘ melodies are amazing, his lyrics poetic, and the feel and sound stand out in its uniqueness. Alas The Ocean’s “Live Sessions” Ep, creates some incredible textures through the use of a simple folksy feel with some amazing melodies backed up by an acoustic guitar. It also showcases Allen’s lyrical genius as he takes the listener on yet another musical journey. As an artist, Allen Rapadas is interior, quiet, with a sharp eye and a sharper tongue.
The playing on the Ep is loose, indeed relaxed, it sometimes sounds as if you’re listening to a rehearsal. In fact, according to Allen, this Ep not only serves as a preview of ALAS THE OCEAN’s new upcoming album as a 6-piece band, due out for Spring 2013, but also acts as a vessel to allow fans to hear ATO in their rawest form. “These tracks were recorded in a couple takes. It’s rough, it’s real, it’s live,” he says.
On “Live Sessions” you can appreciate the music, you’ll most likely even love it, but you’re not going to be walking down the street humming these songs very easily. And it’s not just that the intricate melodies won’t support that pleasure. It’s that, this time, you really have to pay attention to the words. This album is a grower, there really aren’t any immediate pop dittos. So give it some time and you will be rewarded.
The music – understated strummed guitars- is excellent and suits the delicate melodies and vocals well. But most importantly, you can tell Allen Rapadas actually is proud of these songs – his singing and commitment to them is refreshing.
Generally I like music that doesn’t bore me. I don’t like to be taken places where I expect to go. If I can predict the next line or melody, then I am bored and Alas The Ocean doesn’t do that. Their songs sound personal, veering on intimate, and Allen Rapadas’ voice is the loudest track, which allows you to thoroughly enjoy the rich, wry, tender, whimsical, joyous and worth reading by themselves, lyrics.
In an era of endless remixes, multiple versions of albums scattered all over marketplace, auto-tune, and the death of listening to music while sitting still, it’s great to have a simple album of great songwriting and performing. There is a new dimension of wisdom, beauty and sweet surrender wrapped around all of these tracks.
On “Live Sessions,” Alas The Ocean continue to follow their own path, creating unique and creative albums, that are weaved together as a gorgeously colorful cloth of musical colors and stitched together to make a musical and lyrical tapestry out of simple acoustic and vocal arrangements.
If you are an Alas The Ocean fan, you couldn’t ask for more in a new music project. Play it over and over and let it sink into your heart. I recommend it highly.