Communions - Blue - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Communions - Blue

by Larry Schiffman Rating:7 Release Date:2017-02-03

I think like most people, I unconsciously carry my biases and misconceptions with me until I am reminded or made aware of them. Neither should affect my review of the music; but I shouldn't have to apologize for my preferences as opposed to my prejudices and lacks of knowledge. So, in the form of mea culpas: I generally pre-judge musical groups that assume pretentious, self-important and cutesy names Communion[s]- defined as the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level). I did not realize that Britpop is a reconstituted and nearly unrecognizable version of the Pop music that I grew up with. Somehow I assumed it was merely a slight evolutionary change from “Pop” as I used to understand it. There is a category that has been created to neatly cubby hole every conceivable genre of music; but one of the precepts of what I understood Pop music to be was that it had to fit into the neat radio format that supported it, and it should last no longer than the three minutes allowed between advertising and self-promotion by radio disc jockeys. Oh, there were exceptions, that created quite a stir, but for you too young to remember there were actually edited versions of songs made available expressly to satisfy the requirements of the business of music. Now that you have an idea of just how old I am, how I have failed to remember that radio is no longer the medium through which most people get their musical fixes, and that I somehow missed the fact that the first song I previewed on Communions' new full length album runs well over 4 minutes, lets get on to some impressions of the Danish group.

The two brothers, Martin and Mads Rehof, who spent 10 years growing up in the United States and now live in Denmark along with their two bandmates who make up the group, look young - very young. Nothing wrong with that. Martin (vocals and guitar) claims his main influences as Roy Orbison, Annie Lennox, and Savage. He has said “What left an immediate impression on me were these beautifully haunting female-vocals”. (Unfortunately for my taste) his high pitched voice often recreates that feminine mystique. There are times when I could not tell if he was she; and after discovery who was singing I am almost embarrassed to say that I momentarily flashed on the possibility that puberty had not set in. Their sound is reminiscent of Oasis; and if one discounts the vocals, of Pulp.

Taking their name seriously, their style could be labelled “Epistolary Easy Listening.” Each song is like an open letter of concern directed to its intended listener.

Their sound could be described as delicate, eloquent, competent, drums forward, glistening guitar heavy, dreamy music. Dreamy could be interpreted as sleep inducing, but fortunately  Communions never cross that invisible line into boring. One never feels he is stuck in an elevator or being forced to listen to cliché. Yes there is a certain, comforting familiarity with the songs; but one that grows on the listener. Within the constraints of the style they have assumed the album is quite good. There are several songs that will stay with you. It is well produced, melodic, and soothing. The only exception, and then only the very brief feedback from opening chord and repetitive drums and guitar (Gee!, Subtle musical metaphor just like an Alarm Clock), is on “Alarm Clocks” that quickly leads to a much more ethereal verse and chorus. These guys have talent and maturity beyond their years and are a worthwhile listen.

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