Music has no boundaries, or at least it shouldn’t. Art, in general, is a medium used to describe emotions and we all know that they have no boundaries themselves. I often find myself looking for something different and completely out of my comfort zone, searching through weird experimental jazz records straight from a small village in Japan, for example. But sometimes, you don’t even have to look so far. Sometimes, all you need is to be assigned the perfect album to review by the Bucketlist HQ! And that is exactly what happened with Alex Gage’s Flagship and his new album, Lifeboat.
The Alex Gage’s Flagship project is the brainchild of Alex Gage, who has a revolving list of musicians to help him craft his experimental rock. Starting strong, the first track “Renaissance” launches the listener into a journey filled with classical piano and moving vocals. Being the longest track on the album, I was sceptical. Often times, these songs have some long bits that get quite boring. But the song had my attention until the end. You will find a lot of variety to this album, considering the next song “Hymn” takes it down a notch with a slower tempo but very emotional vocals by Alex Gage. Many of the songs have a different feel to them, something I often look for in more experimental genres. Alex Gage and his allies do an excellent job of taking the listener on a different journey with every song.
If perfected a little more, the track Love could have been excellent. The actual song itself is great, but the guitar playing could have been much tighter. I could often hear the distinctive sound made by a string not pressed hard enough. That being said, the team put a lot of work in the mixing and mastering as well. Apart from the song mentioned earlier, each instrument is clear and distinct. The piano blends perfectly with the bass and drums, while the vocals themselves are clean and understandable.
My favourite track has to be the last one; “(The) War (Is) Within.” Alex Gage’s vocals shine on this track and he takes us through some rock n roll, some soul and some jazz. Like many of Chris de Burgh’s songs, a pioneer in the art-rock genre, it’s a great journey with multiple stories to tell, some of which are surely impossible to catch with only one hearing. The instruments are tight and it just keeps on giving until the very last note is played
I was extremely impressed with this album and what it had to offer. I’ll be keeping my eye on this merry band of musicians and you should too! Released on July 12, 2018, Lifeboat is an excellent addition to any music lover’s collection. So buy, settle in and let the music take you away!
Written by Johnathan Robinson
*edited by Danielle Kenedy