Mandy - Universe - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Mandy - Universe

by Mark Steele Rating:8 Release Date:2016-06-01

Universe is an album recorded by husband and wife duo, Mel and Andy Fung, before Mel's fight was lost to cancer in October 2014. This event would appear to apply a certain appreciation value to this recording of 9 songs as a last musical testimony to the southern-welsh songwriter and artist.

The inital bars of the cosmic chorus of 'Angela' come across very Marc Bolan with acoustic guitar then it cuts into straight to the floor beats with wispy backing vocals and surreal strings. Yet it makes another turn into a fuzzy guitar glam rockout with some baroque guitar licks. Next up is quite a heady-hazy psych 'Can You Save Me?', with it's prog folk into lush layered arrangement. The chorus and part where Mel sings "Easy come, Easy go.." is pure trascendental bliss, it almost feels as though she has acknowledged the fact of leaving this material world and expresses a glimpse of some afterlife ahead.

Sunshine rays drape themselves over you on 'For Now'. with floaty layers of guitar, keyboard/mellotron, smooth harmonies and strolling drums. It is a slumberful tune, yet keeps a breeze of contentent blowing free. This mood following is simliar on 'Alien Attack', which sounds as if aboard a spinning sonic carousel of euphoria. Mellotron flutes, ethereal harmonies and guitar arpeggios plus steady bass and swinging drums contained within.

An acoustic-grunge meets space-baroque sonata, has great harmonic and mood affecting hooks, wistful sub melodies and meditative vocal's by Mel, suggesting to look up at the stars and searching the skies and feeling the sun. The guitar and bass intro line on 'This Is Nothing' seems very close reference to 'I wanna be adored' by The Stone Roses in part,  and appears to move out of a potential self-pity moment, and moves around in a percussion based psych-folk dreamscape. This carries across in a comparably lilting vein for 'I Don't Miss You' and seems to want release any pain felt by those close to Mel during her latter days.

The questioning  of reason and giving a glimpse of hope on the Super Furry Animals-esque 'Reasons To Go Home', has a light gleaming through some dark places, reflected in a Folk to Indie-Grunge thoughtful examination. The final farewell, 'Seeing In The Dark' heads into the horizon, leaving some sort of light and life trails behind it.

Universe has the ability to connect deeply with most of us regarding the passing of a loved one. It explores several emotions though none of them appear to be either bitterness or anger. Most of all it portrays a creative soul, who was aware of her surroundings, and appreciated those who surrounded her. Mel Fung has left a recorded legacy of emotional depth and honest reflection, and it may bring needed emphatic comfort to many going through similar times.

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