David Powell And The Speekers – Love

 David Powell And The Speekers – Love

David Powell And The Speekers – Love – Album Review

Lemme tell ya folks…I’ve read a lot of things in my life when it comes to liner notes & details about a record & such…and it’s been a long time since the extra information I’ve gotten with any given album feels like it has flown straight over my head…yet here I am, and he we are, and that is indeed the case.  Welcome to the world of David Powell And The Seekers…where a bunch of these songs have something to do with like…Egyptian Gods and Goddesses…Arabic numbers…stuff that has transpired within Cairo…chord progressions that I’d probably need another lifetime to understand…Sumerian myths and clay tablets…I mean…someone’s gonna have to tell this band that I just know what my ears like to hear.

On the bright side of things, in that regard, there’s a ton to love about Love – and clearly, as you can infer from the opening paragraph I’m sure…these kinds of different inspirations than we normally experience, generally lead to uniqueness in the music we’re listening to.  Such is the case here, and it starts right away as the rolling sound of “Honky Dory” starts to rip through your speakers, leaning on a bass-heavy vibe and atmospheric, effect-laden vocals threaded into the mix.  The drums are purely outstanding, and remain one of the most impressive aspects of this first impression…but overall, I’d be the first to tell ya that “Honky Dory” is freakishly enticing for how different it really IS.  Our ears all work the same more or less…and they all tend to rebel against something ‘new’ until we’ve had a chance to absorb what that newness really is…but not this music by David Powell And The Speekers, no – this is the kind of creativity our ears crave, with wall-to-wall solid groove, a comforting sentiment at its core, and curious sound that immediately beckons us to keep turning the volume up for maximum enjoyment.  Essentially, we don’t know WHAT we’re really listening to…yet…but we feel the joy of creativity and the passion of music coming to life as “Honky Dory” begins…and you bet – I want a whole lot more of this.

Yeah…I mean…call me crazy if ya like, I’m used to it – but something like “Flowers On The Moon” is like hearing instant confirmation that David Powell And The Speekers are genuinely onto something here.  I like the way they’re choosing to use vocals in a way that’s more closely related to an instrument, and I really dig things like how they’ve got their drums sounding on this album, especially when combined with elements like the piano & synth you hear in a song like “Flowers On The Moon.”  For myself personally, while I was enjoying myself listening to “Honky Dory” as the album started, there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ve already shifted from good to great within the first & second tracks.  For music that is as creative and innovative as this…I think the level of accessibility is actually pretty astounding; I don’t expect that everyone out there is gonna ‘get’ it – because music is rarely ever like that – but what I can tell ya, is that for songs as different as they are on this record, a shocking amount of people that would have probably thought they’d never be into this if they read about it on paper, will be when they hear it and experience it for themselves.  Like…you simply can’t beat the way “Flowers On The Moon” opens up within its first ninety seconds in my opinion…that’s about the raddest vibe you’re gonna hear this year, and the song just continually builds on its creativity from there on in…and I. AM. HERE. FOR. IT.

David Powell And The Speekers actually reminds me a lot of what we found in Stray Tablet earlier this year, but like, way more refined and accessible to the masses overall.  While it has a completely different vibe than what you’d find in the 90s when I was growing up, the thickness of the production and sound actually has a ton in common…this is music you can truly feel, and I’m absolutely loving it.  “All The Gods” put David Powell And The Speekers three-for-three for me as this record continued to expand…I don’t know that I quite loved it as much as “Flowers On The Moon,” but I feel like I’d pretty much be splitting hairs…this record is built on a remarkable consistency that never wavers.  As in, if you like something you hear on one track, chances are, you’re gonna like a whole heck of a lot of Love as it continues to play on.  As to their main question of “where have all the Gods gone” in the lyrics…that’s a damn good one if you ask me…any notion of God left me a whole long time ago, so I wouldn’t be the guy with a good answer to that, but I can confirm there’s definitely an absence of God on this planet of ours.  What I can also confirm is that I really dig the mysterious and curious melody created for “All The Gods.”

I mean…comparatively…and considering just how extraordinarily different this music authentically IS…I’d go as far as to say that “Down To Earth” is probably the song they should be looking at putting out as a single to entice people into listening to the rest of Love.  There’s a bit more of an upbeat & inviting sound to “Down To Earth” that’s bound to connect with listeners that much more…and I think it’d be a good choice as a lead-single, as much as any track from an album as unique as this could ever be I suppose.  Ultimately, I know there’s a ton of folks that’ll have a hard time with how the vocals are laced so thoroughly into the music of what David Powell And The Speekers are creating…that’s the reality – some people like myself are gonna love it, others out there are gonna wish they had their vocals & lyrics a bit more raised above the rest so that they can sing along & whatnot…but that’s just how things go.  Like, I’d be the first to tell ya, I rarely, if ever, know exactly what is being sung or communicated overall in these songs on Love – but I’d also be the first to tell ya how little that can actually matter when it comes to the art of making music.  If that was the end all & be all of music, we’d never have bands we love like The Strokes, or even R.E.M. – bands where it’s not always easy to discern what’s being said in the words, so much as how the entirety of everything makes us FEEL…especially in the earliest stuff.  On a personal level, I don’t need to hear every word in any given song – but I do want to feel that undeniable connection to the music I’m listening to…and songs like “Down To Earth” are complete proof that David Powell And The Speekers are more than capable of creating all-out compelling music, 100%.

According to the notes I’ve got here…”Egyptian Queen” features this dude’s wife and sister…I guess I have to assume that dude is David…though honestly, I don’t actually have any official confirmation of that.  Anyhow.  This would be a stellar example of what’s easily the most cross-cultural moment you’ll find in the first half of this record – and for the open-minded among us, chances are, you’ll get a whole lot out of this track.  As far as the fundamentals are concerned, everything is well-played and well sung too…it’s a beautiful language and the uniqueness in a song like this is certainly undeniable.  The main question is much more around the strength of the material in this particular song versus what we’ve heard and experienced so far to this point on the album…and I’m probably not as convinced that it fully measures up in that regard.  Don’t get it twisted and don’t get me wrong though – I’m still enjoying it, and I still think that “Egyptian Queen” makes a truly valid contribution to this album in multiple ways – if anything, it’s on David Powell And The Speekers for writing & recording such extraordinary material as this album begins…basically, I’m saying that I like “Egyptian Queen” in comparison to loving the other songs I’ve heard on the album.  Definitely ain’t nothing wrong with that…”Egyptian Queen” isn’t a bad track by any measure, it just doesn’t quite reach that same level of captivation the others songs do for me personally…you might feel totally different when you listen for yourselves, and if you do, right on.  While the hooks can be harder to grasp, culturally-based songs like these enrich the lives of all who take the time to listen and experience’em…I highly respect that & the value they bring to my Canadian ears.

Excellent details threaded into the background & different layers of a track like “Two Skies Away” – the natural ambience that occurs in behind the music sounds excited, joyous, and alive…and I like that it’s not the main feature, just another complement to the whole song overall.  “Two Skies Away” is the longest song on this album, but between the depth you’ll find in the material, the cleverness of the guitar melody, the positivity in the message within the lyrics you can discern…everything stacks up to a big win for David Powell And The Speekers here, and one of the most engaging tracks on the album for YOU.  I’ve been relentlessly impressed with the way the drums have sounded throughout this whole record, and that continues to be the case here.  Even in spots like around the four-minute mark, where we get a more clear glimpse of particular elements of the music, and some spots that feature a melody that generally clashes more than it meshes together smoothly, it’s still completely interesting stuff to listen to.  Am I more in favor of the spots like around the breakdown in the fifth minute where everything spreads out and the melody flows simply & smoothly through our speakers?  Sure!  But that doesn’t mean I don’t find the rest worthwhile…sometimes we need those moments like what we experience in minute four of “Two Skies Away” in order to appreciate just how well the rest of this song comes together melodically…almost like we wouldn’t notice it without the slight hint of potential chaos.

Case in-point…as much as I enjoy the creative deviancy that a song like “Two Skies Away” has in the middle – I’m easily that much more stoked about “Like Coming Home,” where everything snaps together in an undeniably tangible way.  To me, this is one of the most admirable gems of the entire lineup – the piano melody is gorgeous, the ambience of the background layers is brilliant, the whole vibe of this song has serious weight to it, and we can feel it without question.  Still beautiful enough to be fascinating and charming on that level too…but much more of a heavy feeling to this song…and when combined with the vocals, “Like Coming Home” becomes a truly unforgettable experience.  Definitely one of my favorite singular moments on this album…there’s not a thing about this track that didn’t stand out to me for one reason or another…it has found that perfect balance between sweetness and melancholy that I absolutely love to discover.  So we feel that authentic mix of emotions as we listen to it…joy…sadness…even a large degree of thought-provoking, contemplative sound that sends us adrift into our mind as we listen…”Like Coming Home” is the kind of song that can’t seem to help but move us.  In fact, I’d be mighty inclined to declare this not only my favorite of the record to this point in the set-list, but an all-out perfect moment in music in general – “Like Coming Home” is captivating and flawless.

The instrumentation continues to guide David Powell And The Speekers in the right direction.  Like, I listen to a track like “Tiger Of The Year” and I’m continually impressed by how different it is from just about everything else that’s out there, yet how accessible it is at the same time.  I’m really confident in this music and people’s ability to find their own way into it…and I very rarely feel that way about music I consider to be half as unique as this record is if I’m being honest with ya.  But that speaks volumes on behalf of the level of detail to be found within each song, and also to the dedication that’s been put into everything you hear from the performances to the production itself.  “Tiger Of The Year” is a genuinely fascinating tune…I love the vocals and how they work in the atmosphere of this song in such a soothing way…I love how vibrant and colorful the music surrounding us is…I love the whispers that continuously flow throughout the background, and I love the main piano melody at its core…”Tiger Of The Year” is another extremely strong cut on this album and expertly achieves its status via the most delicate means.  You can’t help but admire the professionalism and passion combined into a moment such as this one.

Amazing.  Every time I think that David Powell And The Speekers couldn’t possibly wow me any more than they already have, a track like “Tiger Of The Year” or “Christmas Truce 1914” will come on to remind me that Love is filled with depth from one side of its lineup straight through to the other.  With a bit less involved in the background of “Christmas Truce 1914,” and a more stoic melody guiding us along that is more tangible & close to something people would be familiar with…you can hear the effect that combination has on the vocals we hear, and we can hear them more clearly as a result.  This would be another track that’s right up there with the best of the best on Love in my opinion though…and I’d be willing to bet you’ll feel the same…that’s the way universal sound works y’all, and that’s exactly what this song has.  Like I said…it really does remind me of what we’ve experienced in the music of Stray Tablet earlier this year…to the point where, I’d actually be surprised if it’s not the same person responsible for it all…but all I can tell ya for sure, is that it’s like the best of that zany project refined into music that we can all actually stick with, absorb in full, and truly enjoy without so much of a struggle.  I listen to a track like “Christmas Truce 1914” and no lie…I’m outright amazed…it’s absolutely stunning.  While the words might be sparse, you feel the weight of their importance and what’s being said…and overall, it feels like we’re witnessing a true tribute to a historical moment with everlasting meaning to it.

“Declare Peace On The World” is built of pure intentions, and has a straightforward level of comforting positivity within the lyricism that works extremely well on both a personal level, as much as one that would apply to our society as a whole.  “Let’s forgive, let’s forget…forgive others…forgive yourself…” – I mean…these are important things to recognize y’all, so pay attention.  “Let’s forget our differences…remember we are one” – I absolutely love how clear the vocals in this particular track are.  I know I’ve argued in favor of how much they’ve been shrouded by the mix & the music earlier on – and I STILL feel that way, because whenever I mentioned it, it was an element of the songs that truly worked for me…but there’s something to be said for having music continuously like that, and then having a moment break through with resounding clarity…it turns songs like “Declare Peace On The World” from being another good song, into an authentic statement track that can’t be missed in a whole lineup of tunes.  Plus, there’s no doubt that having this much more clarity always equates to more accessibility for the masses as well…and anytime you’ve got that, I’m all in favor of providing a meaningful message like you’ll find flowing throughout “Declare Peace On The World” – this is a beautiful song in the set-list of Love.  Still highly innovative and creative, no doubt – but undeniably more accessible for the majority of people listening…David Powell And The Speekers have used this moment of clarity to brilliant effect.

While the biggest highlights of Love might now be behind us officially, “Legends Of Eden” was like the perfect track to finish this experience off with a subtle and peaceful approach that genuinely fit this record.  I like the heartbeat pulse that you’ll hear in this final tune…it’s like it somehow represents us all in a way…like it’s confirming that this music is a part of us, every bit as much as we’ve been a vital part of it as well.  From the sweetness of the strings, to the depth of the storyline and narrative that flows throughout “Legends Of Eden,” the wonderful layers of whispers in the mix, the smart & sparing use of percussion, and the ultra-neon power of the bass-lines standing out…there’s a whole lot to connect with on this very last song, and it has no problem at all resonating within our souls as we listen to it.  The detail is once again astounding y’all…the creative depth is inspired…the sound is straight-up mesmerizing…you’ll find no complaints from me about “Legends Of Eden,” or this album as a whole.  The uniqueness of David Powell And The Speekers is completely profound, and absolutely memorable.

Find everything you need by David Powell And The Speekers at the official links below! 

Multi-link:  https://davidpowellandthespeekers.hearnow.com

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/artist/7h77JgRUqNlIAfas49izlN

Apple Music:  https://music.apple.com/ca/artist/david-powell-and-the-speekers/1636226227

Deezer:  https://www.deezer.com/us/artist/179692537

Jango:  https://www.jango.com/music/David+Powell+and+The+Speekers

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