CD REVIEW: Blue Room by Jonathan Cavier

Jonathan Cavier has turned a lot of heads during his so far brief solo career and is set to turn even more with the release of his latest single “Blue Room”. This song, the title track from his latest studio album, is a powerful guitar driven track that reveals another facet of Cavier’s talents not readily apparent on earlier releases. Cavier first made a name for himself as a member of EyeTalk, a pop duo who recorded numerous albums and toured extensively before calling it a day. Cavier, following the dissolution of that project, revamped his approach to songwriting and music recording in order to explore different creative avenues and his risk taking has been rewarded with fulsomely praised releases and live shows that set him apart from the modern pack. His music, make no mistake about, is distinctly modern despite any traditional elements he embraces and “Blue Room” marries time-tested musical ideas with bracing personal commitment and excellent production to magnificent effect.

Lyrics are an important part of Cavier’s skill set that seldom receives the attention they deserve. He is a musician first and foremost, but he also exhibits a refreshing and, perhaps slightly surprising, literary quality that many performers working in his area do not share. The songwriting in this facet isn’t just a string of incomplete sentences and slang cobbled together to give Cavier something to sing. It’s clear that just as much effort has been expended honing the message in his word that he’s put into crafting an ideal musical vehicle for the subject. Cavier’s vocal elevates the lyrical content further with his attentiveness to detail and emotive phrasing that never overextends itself into purple self-indulgence and he rarely attacks the refrain the same way each time he makes a pass through it. Another key factor in making the vocal work so well has been exhibited on earlier Cavier recordings – he is a singer committed to working with his accompaniment rather than juxtaposing himself against it and it results in a much more unified performance.

The tune has just the right length and he manages to infuse it with a tremendous amount of creativity considering it doesn’t run past the three and a half minute mark. The guitar playing peppers the song with an assortment of textures and approaches – there are slashing passages followed by six string peaks where lead guitar work comes in and adds tremendous drama to the performance. There’s a lot going on in the musical arrangement, but everything builds off the work of the guitar and authoritative drumming that sets a strong tone from the outset. It never presents itself in an ultra rough, hard rock vein, but there’s no question that this arrangement means business and it makes quite an impact even on the first listen. “Blue Room” is an impressive stylistic turn for Jonathan Cavier and, as the title song for his new album, gives us strong evidence that the high quality of his recorded output continues to get better and better each time out.


by Shannon Cowden

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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