The Drawing Room
Artist: The Drawing Room
Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Length: 12 tracks: 33 minutes, 21 seconds
There is something about The Drawing Room that keeps me coming back for another listen. Is it the haunting melodies and lively lyrics, or the albums adventurous character? This is one of those albums that confuses on the first listen, keeps pulling the listener back in, and becomes a regular on their pallet of favorites.
Admittedly, at first I agreed with the majority of critics that the album lacked focus and flow. But being a project of a TFK (Thousand Foot Krutch) member was enough to add this LP to my collection and provide a serious listen. TFK bassist Joel Bruyere collected thoughts, lyrics, and chords over time to create this surprising collection of songs.
Evocative, bright, and bouncing in content, the music pulls the listener into the various moods created. With lyrics for the serious listener and melodies that grab our attention, the combination provides a haunting experience. Songs are driven by acoustic guitar working together with percussion to create a clear, crisp sound. Each song provides a story reminiscent of early Genesis (sans Peter Gabriel) albums ‘Wind and Wuthering’ and ‘A Trick of the Tail’. Where the album’s down side may be a lack of continuity or flow from song to song the overall effect is light, clear, and full of energy creating an overall great listen.
The opening song “Keys (The Liaison)” features tight lyrics and guitar. “Trip” and “Garden of Even”’ follow with crisp acoustic guitar and percussion playing off the lyrics. Upbeat songs give way to darker, melancholy stories in “The Hounds of Winter” and ‘”Windsor for the Winter”, both showing a change of pace and tempo. “Skeleton Key” again provides the unique play between vocals and guitar that is present in a number of this LP's songs, but the heavy bass drum takes away from songs continuity. “Pocketwatch” and “Peddle” complete the album with the unique play between vocals and guitar.
Where The Drawing Room is a side project of Bruyere’s, excelling in his individual musical direction and experimentation, the overall effect leaves the listener asking “Where will this go?” and “What is next”?. Here’s hoping for Drawing Room 2.
By SS Mertens