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> Time Rider, Listener Album Review
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Posted: 09-Mar-2012, 06:53 AM
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Uwe Gronau - Time Rider - myspace.com/uwegronaumusic

The new album Time Rider by German keyboardist and singer Uwe Gronau is so eclectic, I would like to point out some highlights. If you are looking for the quieter, softer instrumental tracks, check out the solo piano of “A Fairy’s Advice” or the piano and synth of the instrumental version (the second version on the CD) of “Far in the East.” If you want a fairly gentle vocal track (with just piano and some light drum sounds), try “Inner Face.” For something more energetic and fast-paced, listen to “Talking Keys and Congas,” “Novel Scene” (with vocal), “Oriental Journey” or “Time is a Sound” (also with vocal).

This musician has released numerous recordings over the past two decades in Europe, but it was only with his last album, Midsummer, that he started to get airplay, reviews and attention in the United States and much of the rest of the world. That double album had one tune with singing and one with spoken-word poetry. Now Gronau stretches even further. Much of the new album is instrumental, but about two-fifths of it has Gronau’s soft, deep, vocals (not exactly spoken or whispered, but not loudly projected either).

All of the music has piano and quite a bit has either synth or organ or both. But on various tracks you might hear a flute, English horn, high-pitched rapid-fire congas, drums, prog-guitar, female backing vocals, and assorted strange sounds. The soft pieces are new-agey while the uptempo ensemble ones push into soft-pop or light-rock territory. I suggest you find a website that offers pre-listening to see if this music is your cup of tea, but avoid the 30-second excerpt sites because this music sometimes takes twice or three-times that long to get going and bring in all the sounds. A great place to start is with the instrumental “Sweet Memory” and the haunting vocal tune “Caged.”

Although this music might be an acquired taste, I highly recommend it. Given a chance, it might become a happy habit.
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