CD review: Diversity
By: Dan Brisebois
Dave Hart's debut, DIVERSITY, is an eclectic blend of guitar prowess and electronic rhythms - held together with a collection of tight backbeats and frequent signs of being something truly special.
Released in January, 2006, it's 13 cuts of passion, influenced by a wide array of artists, ranging from the progressive sounds of Yes, Pink Floyd and Rush to straight up guitar riffs of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. It's an ambitious mix of smooth jazz/rock to ambient soundscapes with touches of world & electronica thrown in for good measure - all packaged up into a new age instrumental vibe.
The versatility of DIVERSITY is rare, blending various styles while creating ambitious mixes from smooth jazz/rock to ambient soundscapes with touches of world & electronica. It's all rolled up into the accessible vibe of a new age instrumental genre, ideal for those who like music to be a sensory escape from the world, interpretive and sound surrounding emotions.
Starting from the lead-off fade in of "Love Journey," the album is intelligent and thought provoking, without being over indulgent. The Spanish guitar stylings in the track, along with the salsa flavourings of "Wickers" and "Mexican Sonata" and sprinkled elsewhere throughout the album, meld with the electronic effects to create a spirit within the music that's inspiring and mesmerizing - if not at times sheer brilliance in action. With the latter, Hart also throws in a few guitar surprises.
A unique atmosphere is created within each song, although they're like pages in the same chapter of a book. They play off each other's strengths and vibrancy to form a sonic ambience that bridges several genres, each song compelling in its own right.
"Transitions" is kind of an anomoly. Strong on its own for what it is - take away the synthesizers, and you can't help but think this could be a great all out rock and roller. Then you have "Red", almost uplifting at times with a haunting synthesizer lead and avant-garde vocals. "Kaleidoscope" and "ATC Dance" are definitely two of the more upbeat tracks, just enough to keep the album from sounding complacent.
DIVERSITY lives up to its name and is the perfect title for the album. It's music is ideal as a sensory escape from the world of repetitive, formulated radio. Hart relays his emotions into his music and comes out with one of the most intribuing albums of the year.