If you’re a classic rock fan – or simply owned a radio sometime in the last half-century – you’ve probably heard “Cat’s in the Cradle” a thousand and one times before, but I sincerely doubt you’ve ever heard it played quite the way Impresario is hammering it out in the new album All of Us, currently out everywhere independent music is sold and streamed.
Loaded with fourteen songs, most original but some covers, All of Us is an aesthetically complex, wholly experimental offering that doesn’t stay on one subject (nor style of play) for very long, but it never comes off as scattered or lacking a cohesive central soul. Led by the relentlessly talented Valerian Ruminski, All of Us flirts with the parameters of what an alternative record can look, sound and feel like without pandering to the new-new-wavers who have tried to coopt virtually anything with an ‘experimental’ branding into their own post-hipster micro-movements. Ruminski isn’t looking to play millennial head games with the stylization of the material in this album; whether it be the jazz-inspired “Vegaquarian,” the swaggering “Give Live a Chance,” a pummeling Red Dead Redemption-style bruiser in “1865” or suffocating club tunes like “You Got Me” or the 80s throwback “Monkeys on a Rock,” he’s all form and no filler in this effort.
In operatic moments like “Se Vuol Ballare,” we’re reminded of just how powerful a voice this man has, while in other, more pop-friendly excerpts like “I Don’t Know Where I’m Goin’ to” or “Love is Not a Time Machine,” virtuosity is less the focus versus dexterity in general, but at no time does any of this performance feel self-serving in nature or design. The title cut is the most abstractly progressive, but without the extended continuity that starts with “Close Encounter,” pushes through the likes of a beautiful take on “Smile” and the crushing “Midnight Mode” only to spit us out in “Give Life a Chance,” I don’t think I’d refer to All of Us as the can’t-put-it-down LP it inarguably is in this state. It’s obvious that Ruminski isn’t just in love with his own music, but the medium in general – after all, if this weren’t the case, I highly doubt we would get the kind of moxie that produces tracks like “Be a Man” or “I Don’t Know Where I’m Goin’ to” to begin with.
From the upcoming album ALL OF US by Impresario available on Spotify and almost all platforms GO TO www.ImpresarioProject.com to join fan club words and musi…
Impresario is a project that I wasn’t prepared to get into this year, but as all who have experienced 2020 thus far are more than aware, nothing about this year has been even somewhat predictable or on par with what 2019 could have set us up for. All of Us is an emotional, endlessly concept-driven album that doesn’t really let you steer away from its complexities without getting lost in another web of hypnotizing harmonies or thought-provoking poetry around the next bend, but for some of us, that’s just what we needed to give this unimaginably strange year just a little bit of sonic intrigue.