What's that--you've never heard of Colie Brice? You must not live anywhere near the east coast--specifically the New Jersey area. Brice is a multi-instrumentalist, who has seen just about every facet of the music business from Bon Jovi to Ella Fitzgerald and all points in between--both as an artist and from the business end of things. On the aptly titled, "Chameleon," Brice has come up with an interesting mix of progressive rock and world music, with a tinge of psychedelia thrown in for good measure. The songs on the CD cover a multitude of musical styles and ambient soundscapes.
The CD begins with "Only Love is Real," a tune featuring a processed Lennon-esque vocal, set over an acoustic background with nature sounds. About half of the CD is made up of instrumental tracks. The first is a dark, ethereal, keyboard-based song called "Discovering Joy." Up next is the first of several short interludes called "Jubilant Front." The track starts off with a fanfare intro, and then descends into a guitar/keyboard theme.
"Relax" is one of the stranger tunes on the CD. The backing track has a 'No Speak' feel to it (No Speak was a cool, but short-lived, rock instrumental label in the late 80's that produced a ton of great material), with fluid lead guitar flowing over crunchy power chords. The strange thing about the song is the 'chorus,' where you repeatedly hear "Relax and take it eeeeeaaaasssyyy." "Follow Your Dreams" also features some good guitar work, and a false ending.
"Prelude in D Minor" is a short interlude preceding one of the best tracks on the CD, "Alien Perspective." "And He Loved Her" is a beautiful instrumental, but it's got copyright infringement written all over it. This song is almost identical to The Beatles' "And I Love Her." Brice does a respectable job with it though. The acoustic version of "Only Love is Real" isn't a whole lot different than the original. The vocals aren't processed, and it's a bit shorter, but that's about it.
The most interesting tracks on Chameleon are "Musical Mystery Tour," and the unlisted bonus track that follows it. Clocking in at an epic 16:41, "Tour" starts off like a sparsely arranged cross between "Xanadu" (Rush) and "Sorrow" (Pink Floyd). From there, it goes into something that sounds like "Time" (Pink Floyd again). Keyboards come in around the 11:00 mark, followed by a "Take Five" theme a minute or so later. Toward the end of the track, Brice's classical influence comes in and the song ends. Or so you'll think. After about three minutes of silence, an eerie, almost bluesy tune called "I Went to Boston" comes in to bring the CD to a close.
As you can see, Chameleon is a perfect name for this CD. Colie Brice may not be a household name right now (at least not outside of NJ), but with talent like this, that's sure to change.
|© 2001 Steve Marshall|