Marcelo Camela – Melodies In Motion – Album Review
There it is…that instantaneously uplifting vibe that Marcelo Camela is so synonymous with – it takes mere seconds for that familiar comforting feeling of his music to come radiating through on “At Home” as Melodies In Motion begins. I was actually kind of shocked to look it up on our site and see that the first time we reviewed Marcelo’s music was actually way back in 2015 now, with his album Praise And Strings…honestly it seems like it was just yesterday that I started listening to him for the very first time. To be fair, he’s still fairly fresh in my mind and hasn’t been far from my playlist at all – he was back on our pages at the end of last year with the lead-single “Make Life Look Beautiful” from Melodies In Motion before the album was officially released…so it’s not like it’s been forever since I last listened. I’m just saying, each time I listen to the guy’s music, it has such a zest for life threaded right into the sounds he creates from his guitar…it just always sounds so relevant and perfect whenever I seem to listen. And as far as instrumentation goes, you simply can’t beat this guy – Marcelo is as much of a guitar-ace as I’ve ever had the privilege to listen to; what he can do with a guitar is quite simply phenomenal, full-stop.
“At Home” opens the album with a majestic sound, serving as the intro to Melodies In Motion at just a minute in length, but as with everything Camela creates, he makes a maximum impact, even in a short amount of time. Thirty seconds or so into “At Home,” he’ll throw the switch and start officially heating up those amplifier tubes with a powerful burst of colorful sound that couldn’t possibly be ignored.
And we’re off into Melodies In Motion…
Diving right into the blissfully expressive & colorful sound of “Serendipity,” Marcelo turns up the brightness & tempo, kicking this second tune into gear and continuously putting on a display of the fantastic skill, innovative ideas, and tremendous tone we love him for. Highly engaging, the combination of uplifting energy and heartfelt melody that adorns the sound of “Serendipity” is wild, lively, and powerfully enticing to listen to at all times…the kind of song that fills you up with energy and adds a lil’ pep to your step for the rest of the day. With the accenting vibes of light-funk/jazz in the mix, “Serendipity” has a ton of personality and vibrant instrumentation to catch your attention, and extremely well thought-out & cleverly structured melodies played to flawless perfection that produce fantastically fun results. It’s the kind of song that just makes ya feel great for having listened…that’s the best way to describe “Serendipity” and there’s almost no other way to put it. The musicianship should drop your jaw in amazement…that’s kind of a given when it comes to the execution & performances that Marcelo lays down in the studio…but just in case this is your first time with his music, just know, you WILL be wowed by what he’s capable of. Listen to the speed, precision, and intricate design of the melody he’s working with on “Serendipity” – it’s extraordinary, through & through…the professionalism in Camela as an artist and the breathtaking way he can play a guitar is always going to impress the ears.
I still absolutely love “Make Life Look Beautiful” – Marcelo made a spectacular choice in having this song out there as the lead-single and gateway into this record for listeners out there. I originally reviewed this tune back in November of last year as the album was nearing its final stages of completion; it was great to listen to then, it’s great to listen to now – make sure to read my original thoughts here. I won’t go into ALL the details here again, but suffice it to say, I think Camela chose really wisely with making this song the single from the record; it’s got all the skill he’s known for right in the spotlight, stunning melody that can’t be missed, and a bright disposition that absolutely won’t be denied. I’m tellin’ ya – test this theory out the next time there’s a raincloud hanging over your house…crank up “Make Life Look Beautiful,” open a window or two to let the sound out a lil’ bit…and watch those clouds retreat and the sunshine begin to appear. Tell the rainbows that pop-up afterwards that Jer @ SBS says hello. I’m sure you get what I’m saying – “Make Life Look Beautiful” is a universally accessible & truly gorgeous tune.
“On This Journey” is 100% pure energy and all-out audio-awesomeness – TONS of hooks in the music being made by Camela on this tune. Almost like something the Foo Fighters might slip in during a live set, letting the instrumentation shine but still keeping the energy roaring & rockin’ at all times. There’s a progressive thread that runs through the writing, performance, and structure for sure – but you’ll hear at the heart of this song, there’s a real riff that drives it – and you can hear that energy take hold of Marcelo and surge through him as he rips up & down the fret-bord to deliver non-stop entertainment. Much like “Make Life Look Beautiful,” this tune has massively bright & catchy, single-worthy sound that comes straight at ya, fully aware of how much joy is in the mix and proudly wielding it as an asset in the overall mood, attitude, and atmosphere of “On This Journey.” I really dig the amount of adventure you’ll find within this song…you get doses of majesty, melody, and even organ sounds in the mix to strengthen the atmosphere even more. On the merits of its pure sonic energy that never quits alone, “On This Journey” more than makes the grade – Marcelo never seems to ever run out of batteries, even in the most demanding of parts he’s written and performing…I absolutely love how vibrantly this guy attacks his music with such impressive commitment & true dedication…full respect to you Marcelo.
I also love how songs like “Tales Of Victory” become like true stories with chapters, beginnings, endings, conclusions, climaxes, aftermath…it’s all there in this audio-anthology that Camela has been putting together throughout the years in his combined catalog. When you listen to the expressive way that Marcelo plays guitar, it’s like each note truly says something to you – and whether it’s the passion, the emotion, or the pure skill, one way or the other, you’ll get the gist of what he’s looking to communicate on any of his instrumental songs without him ever having to say a word. I mean, when you listen to the final switch around the 2:40-ish mark – it SOUNDS like “Tales Of Victory,” wouldn’t you say? Like the battle has been won, the enemy vanquished, and the throne secured – like triumph & decisive victory! A ton of the reason for that feeling comes from the sheer amount of skill on display throughout the way Camela takes this tune head-on; this is like that moment where the seemingly everyday dude transforms into the superhero with the cape & all-that…impossible not to notice just how incredible Marcelo’s musicianship is on “Tales Of Victory.” I dig the aggressive side of his sound – he’s moving at blazing speeds and making gnarly choices throughout this cut and he’s certainly not shying away from the harder stuff on Melodies In Motion…you’ll find him amp-up the energy in that direction a couple times throughout this lineup of songs. And much like you’d expect and you’ll definitely hear on “Tales Of Victory,” Marcelo is audibly capable of creating any kind of atmosphere in music with remarkable results. I might be more partial to the more laidback melodic stuff overall…maybe…it’s honestly impossible to pin down which tracks I like best from Camela when I truly love them all; I’d certainly never deny that the more scathing sounds you’ll find on “Tales Of Victory” don’t suit him just as well.
Does the scorching heat of “Tales Of Victory” mesh well in transition with the beyond-serene sounds and gentle nature of “The Beauty Of Your Embrace” to follow? I’ll let you all be the judge & jury on that one…it might be an adjustment for a few listeners out there & up for debate amongst the masses. Keep in mind, much like I pointed out with “Tales Of Victory,” each song that Marcelo creates, still tells a story, even if it’s always instrumental – just listen closely, and you’ll hear it – better yet in most cases, you’ll feel it. “The Beauty Of Your Embrace” would be an excellent example of Camela’s ability to really develop a song and explore all the depths it has & directions to offer – there’s a story unfolding on this song that is structured magnificently. You’ll go through gorgeously gentle moments, bright bursts of colorful & comforting sound, and throughout the song almost at all times, you’ll get jaw-dropping instrumentation via Camela’s guitar that simply can’t go unrecognized. And LISTEN to the final switch of THIS song as well will ya? Marcelo is making great moves at the end of these tunes to heighten the experience and create genuinely memorable finales, which he’ll definitely do again here on “The Beauty Of Your Embrace.” As a whole, there’s no denying the beauty he’s created on this song from beginning to end…it’s the start of a chain of truly sincere & stunning melodies that form the heart of this album. As far as tender highlights go, “The Beauty Of Your Embrace” definitely exceeds all expectations, revealing a structure that’s designed to deliver the goods, fully versatile and spectacularly expressive.
I’ll put it to you this way, Marcelo does so many things right that it becomes nearly impossible to pick a favorite from his catalog when everything comes out at such stunning quality and compelling listening. That being said, I might have become a bit partial to the low-key vibes & soaring melody he’s uncovered on “Midnight Promises” – there’s a very contemplative & reflective sound at work on this tune I really dig. The construction & assembly of this material…the production, the performances…everything just shines so beautifully. Like what is that Marcelo…that’s a cello driving the melody at times throughout “Midnight Promises,” correct? I’m 99% sure that’s what we’re hearing…and it’s a perfect addition to the atmosphere whenever it shows up throughout “Midnight Promises,” which also makes solid use of piano, bass, drums, and more to take you on a serious journey in sound over the course of five-plus minutes. The clarity in his music is always massively impressive…so are the ideas…like listen to the way that “Midnight Promises” absolutely chills right out as it deconstructs inventively to the end – amazing! While both “Midnight Promises” and the track just prior “The Beauty Of Your Embrace” are both the longest songs on the record & featured back-to-back…I think there’s also a strong argument to be made that these two songs are also the real heart of Melodies In Motion overall. Spectacular emotion and expression, character and personality, passion and inviting sound in both songs…gorgeous stuff really.
Quaint, pleasant, non-offensive…you could call “Yo Te Busco” all of these things as Marcelo takes a sweet & tender time out to relay a gentle acoustic tune for us all. If you’re as much of a fan of melody in music as I am, you’ll have no problem at all sitting completely captivated and listening to the glorious use of space and emotional tones that come straight out of his guitar and connect right to our hearts & minds. “Yo Te Busco” is probably the most stripped-down sound you’ll find on any of these songs throughout Melodies In Motion, but still a totally essential tune on the album. In my opinion, it could very well be one of my favorite songs on this entire record full of amazing material; an impressive feat considering how intimate and smaller “Yo Te Busco” is by comparison to just about every other tune. Still – I think a lot of people out there will be just as fascinated with this humble song as I was an seriously impressed at just how captivating the most delicate moment of Melodies In Motion can be.
But can I just say that I LOVE how “Falling Darkness” bucks all assumptions people might have of Camela’s music? He’s never made his faith a secret…yet also through the luxury of the instrumental nature of his music, the doors are open to just about everyone out there to listen. That being said…those on the outside of religion, have certainly stigmatized the sounds that might come from within it – and to be fair, as I’ve said many times, the faith-based genre truly needs many more champions than it currently has. ANYHOW…the point is…whatever it is you assume faith-based music might be, whether you picture a happy sing-along gathering or one dude with an acoustic guitar…prepare to have your mind blown when you listen to “Falling Darkness” and just how hard a religious dude can truly ROCK! Marcelo is holding NOTHING back on this wild cut, ramping up the aggression to heights I haven’t heard from him to-date and really thrashing out some gnarly sounds that are guaranteed to grab your attention. It might be one of the shorter songs on the record, but look out for the beastly & behemoth sounds of “Falling Darkness” – Marcelo’s commitment will again rock your socks right off your feet as he scorches the earth on what’s definitely the album’s most aggressive cut. Listen to moments like around the 1:50 mark & heading into the two-minute area…the crunchy distortion of the rhythm, the vibrant tone of the lead, the relentless storming of the drums – and then LISTEN to how Marcelo STILL finds an even bigger moment to rise up to less than a minute later! HUGE tune from Camela…and like I said, probably one the people out there wouldn’t expect to hear from him.
There is always such spectacular skill on display in Camela’s music…and the more you listen to it, the more I promise you’ll get out of it. Take a song like “Search, Search, Search!” for example – on the surface, you’ll hear the hooks, you’ll hear how the song moves and how easy it is to enjoy it – BUT…if you’re REALLY listening, you’ll hear all kinds of clever toying with the timing & tempo, scorching hot technique that simply can’t be beat, and sounds so colorful you could paint the canvas in your mind with’em as they flow out of the speakers & into your ears. It all gives Marcelo a distinct advantage though – I’d assume most, if not all listeners, could get to the heart & the melody of a song like “Search, Search, Search!” – but if you’re instrumentally-inclined or a musician yourself, you’ll be able to dig deeper into this track and appreciate what’s happening on several other satisfying levels as well. As far as musical hooks go when it comes to instrumentals and in Camela’s catalog, I’d definitely be inclined to put “Search, Search, Search!” right up there with some of his most inventive & ear-catching to-date. He really knows how to make the rhythm & lead complement each other incredibly well in the music he makes and the final assembly of it all…it’s that understanding of how the layers interact that continually leads him to such impressive results & clarity in the mix no matter how big & bold or small the sound is.
I’m forever going to be a fan of the violin…especially right now in the modern-day era, I gotta say, it’s an instrument that has almost become essential these days. Getting a spectacular assist from Marisa Frantz on the violin, together with Camela, they create a truly beautiful & dreamy combination of sounds on “A Place Of Solace” that once again reveals that warm & comforting sound Marcelo is capable of creating & executing so well. The contribution of Frantz is not to be understated however – she’s amazing on this song and absolutely IS an essential part of this particular song on Melodies In Motion. In general, I’d say that “A Place Of Solace” offers a different glimpse into what the music of Marcelo Camela could potentially be like…collaborative efforts always bring out something unique in an artist that they probably wouldn’t tap into solo on their own. So too is the case here with Camela – what Frantz brings out in him through this combination of their talents reveals a new depth to his sound and a unique atmosphere that’ll stand out for all the right reasons over the years in his catalog of material.
Talk about Melodies In Motion will ya? Marcelo Camela has done an extraordinary job of shifting us from one extreme of sound to the other, from the hard stuff to the gentle, offering up several highlight moments of his own music career throughout the set. Ending the album on the delicate side of his sound, “Never Lose Hope” is a beautifully hypnotic song that I wanted to continually lose myself within; every time it came on, almost by instinct alone, my hand would reach for the volume just to give this last tune a bit of an extra bump up…something about this final song that really connects right to the soul. I know I’ve said it a lot when it comes to this record, but that’s only because it’s true – this could very well be one of my absolute favorites and genuine highlights of the entire set. “Never Lose Hope” isn’t the bright, friendly charmer that a song like “Make Life Look Beautiful” was…it’s not the isolated & intimate sounds of a song like “Yo Te Busco” either…it’s somewhere blissfully in between, expressing a peaceful serenity that’s captivating and unlike any other you’ll find on this record. But in all the right ways…that perfect way, the kind that creates a powerfully memorable end to what’s been an incredible experience once again, 100% all the way through with Camela’s music – the man is a seriously undeniable talent.
Find out more about Marcelo Camela at his official homepage at: https://www.marcelocamela.com
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