Strutting forth to the beat of a neon R&B/pop crossover, the title track in Impresario’s new record All of Us is undeniably as eclectic as anything the powerhouse vocalist Valerian Ruminski has ever stamped his name on, but truth be told, his performance in this most recent affair is actually one of his most moving. There’s an unfiltered passion that flows through his approach to the verse in tracks like this one, “Give Life a Chance,” the prog-rockish “1865” and flooring “Love is Not a Time Machine” that is almost impossible to impede, and for me personally, it’s reason enough to give this record a listen.
The vocals are obviously going to be a key focus of expression in anything released under the Impresario moniker, but when they’re coupled with surreal arrangements ala the brooding “Smile,” “Midnight Mode” and “Cat’s in the Cradle,” we really get to experience just how much depth Ruminski has when he’s got the spotlight all to himself. There’s seemingly an unstoppable desire to give us extra gusto amidst an understated execution in this LP – take the experimental faceting of “Vegaquarian,” for example – but scarcely is there ever an actual instance of negative overindulgence on our leading man’s part.
Instrumentally, it doesn’t get much warmer than the rich string tonality of “Be a Man,” electronic bulge in “You Got Me” and streamlined groove in “Monkeys on a Rock,” which, ironically enough, wouldn’t normally make for a very good combination in a typical pop album. Ruminski isn’t afraid to touch on as much ground as he can while still staying true to a very specific set of artistic ethics in All of Us, and if you ask me, his attitude towards both songwriting and recording is one that some of his younger peers could stand to learn something from.
From start to finish, balancing out the diverse collection of aesthetics being melded together for everything from “I Don’t Know Where I’m Goin’ to” to “Close Encounter” or the straight operatic “Se Vuol Ballare” is the main priority, but it never gets in the way of simplistic storytelling via tunes like the title track, Cat’s in the Cradle” and “1865.” If there’s one thing that Impresario fans should come to expect out of this project, it’s consistent eclecticism, but not in the same vein as the scores of indie pseudo avant-gardists to have made similar waves in the underground this past year.
An interesting follow-up to his highly-buzzed summer LP, All of Us is another good look for Impresario that leaves me feeling very intrigued by what Valerian Ruminski is demonstrating in the studio once more. Even with quarantine culture imposing a constant strain on this industry in 2020, this is one songwriter and performer who has yet to let anything prevent him from accomplishing the artistic goals he set out to meet at the very start of his career, and in this capacity, he’s proving to be one of the more reliable players in or outside of his scene.