14 Aug 2018

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Three Islands - Album Review: Sunshine for the Soul

01 Dec 2017 // A review by Petros

While I admit I am usually somewhat resistant to exploring outside my chosen genre, though often reluctantly do so, I was surprised to find I had no issue getting into this album - once I finally convinced myself to start it.

The Three Islands album Sunshine for the Soul are to Funk and Soul, what Jakob are to Rock. Post-Reggae. Psyche-Dub-ic. Progressive Roots. In a word, revolutionary. The smooth licks, flowing riffs, and tight fills arenít the portrait, they are the canvas on which the moods are built.

Expecting a run-of-the-mill Reggae/Dub affair, what I instead found was the ultimate Kiwi summer, condensed into an album. While some would argue these are the same thing, this album is different. One you put on while you barbeque your snags. This album is the barbeque, the snags, the mozzies and your drunk uncle smoking on the porch.

The titles are almost onomatopoeia. I donít know how, but Jason Peters has somehow managed to bottle the vibe of Golden Bay, the essence of Driving to the Coast, the spectacle of Flying Above the Southern Alps, and the ambience of a Mainstreet Cafť into the tracks held beneath the titles. As interpretive dance is the embodiment of the music, these tracks are reactions and reflections of all these elements of the sunny life on our three islands.

Maybe itís a side effect of watching Whiplash on Netflix, but I really noticed the drum work. Drummers will argue there is artistry and musicianship in all of their work, but for the most part, I hear a lot of glorified metronomes. In this genre, these genres, as this work fits into many, there is room to be expressive in the drum work, and that stands out on the album.

Were the Jason Peters name stapled all over this release, this would be a collection of Jazz standards, or another Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits. A vehicle for stardom.

But it isnít. I donít even remember reading a bio. So instead Sunshine for the Soul is exactly how it plays out. A collection of distilled sunshine made solely for your enjoyment. Songs without the pretence of fast lines, punchlines and story, innuendo and entendre to decipher, or a cult of personality to follow. There is no message and agenda. Just a feeling. Enjoyment.

And in a way, by making an album of enjoyable music without hype or lyrics, Jason has shown off his skills as a multi-instrumentalist, not relegated to a single style or genre. A musician, not just a poster boy for Hip Hop.

Perhaps itís the unseasonably windless Wellington sunshine, which has persisted this past week, or perhaps Iíve grown as an adult, but I have really appreciated this album, nay, art piece, and it couldnít have come at a better time. Letís see if it holds up when the winds return.

Other Reviews By Petros

Brendan Pyper - Single Review: No Strings Attached
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I think we have this decadeís Daniel Bedingfield on our hands. Diversifying his portfolio, The Latest Falloutís Brendan Pyper has just released his debut single, in the process seemingly leaving his Pop Rock ways behind.
Tess Goodwin - Single Review: Grace
07 Jul 2018 // by Petros
In this world of instant gratification, something can be said about a song that can make you feel, even if that feeling is longing. Longing, usually a feeling with negative connotations, is something you miss out on when you can binge watch an entire show or listen to a musicianís whole discography.
Emily Fairlight - Album Review: Mother of Gloom
03 May 2018 // by Petros
Autumn at dusk. Sitting in a bay window, knees to chin, wrapped in sweatered arms.
Tempist Fujit - Single Review: Daynes Song
26 Apr 2018 // by Petros
'Tis a two-headed beast, Daynes Song, the new single from Northlandís Tempist Fujit. On one side itís jazzy funky 90's Rock riffs, bass licks, and song structure (with complimentary Santana-like solo), the other side modern Rap riffing.
Robby Thorne - Album Review: The White Thorn Track
13 Mar 2018 // by Petros
There is a time and place for genre pedantry. I get that categorising artists by genre is a way of qualifying if you will like music before trying it.
David Edwards - Album Review: Gleefully Unknown 1997 - 2005
25 Feb 2018 // by Petros
There is the weird and wonderful. And then there is the weird.
Will Saunders - Album Review: Covers Four
27 Jan 2018 // by Petros
Covers Four, formally and sub titled I Know That We Are Not New (a line taken from the contained cover of Cohenís Hey, Thatís No Way To Say Goodbye) is Will Saunders from The Lowest Fidelityís take on a collection of obscure tracks, which ironically were new to me. Itís the mode now to take on, often poorly, the latest hits of the Billboard charts, posting them to YouTube in the vain hope of riding off the coattails of the songís fame.
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16 Jan 2018 // by Petros
Jimmy Hazelwood, actor and purveyor of acoustic folk, has recently released a new record, but not as himself. This time Jimmy is stepped into the role of Lincoln Greene, bringing you the debut album from this pseudonym, the aptly title The Lincoln Greene Project.
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