Atmospheric harmonies aren’t difficult for even the most novice of new age players to dream up, but they’re undoubtedly tough to execute unless provided with the best equipment and venue for recording possible. However, with that said, the process doesn’t seem all that daunting in “Reflect – Metal of Tao,” the lead single from Jason and Robin Campbell’s Five Elements of Tao record, which unfurls a surreal harmonization right out of the gate in what can only be described as premium new age music at its most unfiltered. Jason and Robin are take their familial bond into the writer’s room with them for this track, and the results of their experimentations are sterling to put it mildly.
“Reflect – Metal of Tao” has one of the more masterfully meticulous arrangements I’ve had the chance to take a look at in the month of March, but there’s nothing specifically overdone about any of its components. Contrarily, I think there’s more of a minimalist influence in play here than one might be expecting to find; with both the strings and the piano, stylizations are kept to a barebones concept more than they are a flamboyant liberal aesthetic, which I think was a valid move when taking into account the natural grandeur in a composition like this one.
There’s a stoic bend to the vocal that initially gave me a bit of a chilly feeling when I first sat down to review “Reflect – Metal of Tao,” but after giving it a couple of devoted listens, I absolutely understood its part in making the piano pop a little more in the big picture. The black and white nature of the verse is essential to colorizing the melodic keys framing it in the foreground, and were it tweaked even slightly, I’m not sure this song would be as endearing as it is.
The heavy bass tones didn’t impress me as much in cursory listening sessions spent with “Reflect – Metal of Tao” and Five Elements of Tao in its complete form as they did in moments when I was isolated with the music in the privacy of my bedroom late at night, and because of this experience, I think it’s best to play this song with nothing else present to distract you. This makes for a wonderful soundtrack to transcendental meditation, or even something as simple and routine as laying down between the sheets to recharge for a new morning just eight hours away.
I came into my review of Jason and Robin Campbell’s “Reflect – Metal of Tao” with a lot of high hopes after hearing how enchanting it was from a litany of colleagues within the music industry, but I’m pleased to say that most – if not all – of these hopes were satisfied upon hearing the track and the album it’s supported by. The Campbells make a near-perfect foray for new listeners into the complex and evolving world of new age music here, and for their efforts they deserve all the credit they’ve been receiving in the last year and more.