These melodic instrumental grooves will refresh your spirit upon every listen. Songs like "Going There" and "A Place Here" have all the charm and joy of a summer day. The combination of electronic and acoustic textures makes for a great sound that is rich, warm and very organic. A new remix of the song “Truth”, from the online video project and EP, is now available for the first time on CD.
If there’s an artist who is better at crafting irresistible hook-laden electronic keyboard music than Davol, I haven’t heard him or her. The guy is a like a chill-out/electronica hit-making machine. If his type of music ever returned to the commercial airwaves, he’d own the top 40 in this genre. Oh well, in another world, I guess. Now, let’s get on to the matter at hand.
As a follow-up to his acclaimed A Day Like No Other, Good Sign trumps that recording’s already high standard, which is really saying something since A Day Like…was a damn fine CD. Good Sign dials up the catchy refrains to an almost addictive level while inducing so much toe-tapping and finger-snapping that listening to this on headphones in a library would almost guarantee being cited for creating a public disturbance. The sheer magnitude of spot-on perfected chillage distributed throughout this album’s eight tracks is staggering. As on all his releases, Davol manages to vary the music from song to song while retaining his signature sound through the employment of his trademark keyboards, which will be recognizable to anyone who has heard his previous releases.
Something new on Good Sign is a little dash of overt electronica elements meshed in with the more mainstream “new age pop instrumental” (which is the artist’s stock-in-trade), most notably on the thumping dance beats of “Truth 2010” and “Stay,” both which could prompt clubbers to hit the floor, I’d imagine. Besides these two tracks, you might spot other new wrinkles in Davol’s modus operandi, although there is simply no mistaking his style. On this CD, though, he’s even more zeroed-in on hitting all the right “notes” than on his previous recordings. Like I stated earlier, Good Sign is chock full a’ hits.
All eight tracks are Davol originals, as they always are on his albums. “Scarborough Days” launches the proceedings with his “patented” sparkling guitar samples and a midtempo shuffling chill-out beat amidst layer upon layer of shimmering iridescent textures and bell tones. The title track opens with a luxurious synth wash buoyed by funky chilled beats and still more assorted keyboards, (headphones will reveal Davol’s sterling production and engineering quality). “Going There” takes the Ryan Farish formula of echoed piano and Enigma-esque beats and infuses it with a variety of swaying guitar textures (the guitar “noises” are from noted artist Peter Maunu, by way of Spectrasonics Bizarre Guitar), and those same kind of beats and piano are also present on “Nautikos” but here the orchestral instrumentation is lush and sensual. After three more tracks, “Goodnight” closes the CD in a gentle vein, with piano and acoustic guitars carrying the load amidst a less dense array of accompanying keyboards and only a subtle rhythm track. It’s a great “wind down” to the album especially since the last two tracks (the aforementioned “Stay” and Truth 2010”) are the highest energy numbers on the album.
It’s really a no-brainer, folks. Good Sign is as good an album of accessible (read: mainstream and pop-structured) electronic keyboard chill-out as you’re going to hear this year from anyone. Davol can still show the newcomers in this genre (as talented as they are) a thing or two. He can cram more hooks and melody into 41 minutes (which Good Sign clocks in at) than many artists can in twice the amount of time. You know my mantra—quality beats quantity every time, and Good Sign brims over with nothing but the best.
Bill Binkelman, Music Reviewer
Zone Music Reporter and New Age Retailer
While Good Sign falls into the 'new age' classification I think anyone with a liking for good instrumental music and/or electronic music will enjoy this new album by Davol. A new artist, to me, it came as a pleasant surprise that the album was full of gorgeous melodies and gently shifting rhythms. I think Good Sign would equally be at home played by any club dj in their chill room. Track titles are: Scarborough Days, Good Sign, Going There, Nautikos, A Place Here, Truth 2010, Stay, Goodnight. Davol is Davol Tedder, a wizard of multiple keyboards, brought up on the music of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis - a pedigree that resonates strongly with me as they are my favourite musicians as well. You may hear some of these influences in the music but they are extremely restrained and the music on this CD is all Davol. The overall feel of the music on Good Sign is good vibes but without the hammerhead beats that make dance music so boring and wearing on the ears and brain. It is also rather pleasant to find an album without some sort of agenda such as spiritual renewal or discovering your karma! This is just a collection of well written tunes played with wit and humour, and great musicality. I really rate Davol and Good Sign - it's one of my albums of the year and going into my musical collection.
John Peters, The Borderland
Good Sign is the sixth release from electronic musician/composer Davol, but it’s a first for me - something I plan to rectify very soon! Davol combines electronic and acoustic instrumental sounds as well as pop and new age stylings, creating a unique and distinctive musical voice. Listening to Good Sign is as pleasantly intoxicating as lounging in warm sunshine with a wispy breeze blowing through your hair. That doesn’t mean the music doesn’t have any muscle or complexity - the rhythms are prominent, but the pace is leisurely, creating a feel-good mood and atmosphere. Davol’s music is the perfect antidote to the bad news we are being bombarded with every day. Life is, indeed, good, and Davol’s music is a wonderful reminder. The production quality is also a cut above with sounds that are clean, full, and precise yet warm and inviting. My one-word summation of Good Sign is “Wow!” with both thumbs up and a big smile on my face!
Good Sign begins with “Scarborough Days,” a smooth and easy-going piece that catches your attention and then invites you to ease into a happy daydream. The title track envelops you in warm sounds and suggests the feeling of floating on a cloud, just drifting along and enjoying every moment. “Going There” picks up the pace a little bit, layering guitar sounds with a catchy rhythm, keyboard melody, and atmospheric sounds. “Nautikos” is a favorite. Organ, electric piano, guitars, and ambient electronic sounds suggest the motion, mystery, and majesty of the ocean as light dances lightly on the waves. “Truth 2010” is a remix from an online video project and EP, and is available for the first time on CD here. It is the most energetic and danceable track on the CD, conveying an adventurous, freewheeling spirit and a strong sense of fun. I really love this one! “Goodnight” begins as a duet for guitar and piano, introducing the beautiful melody and setting a gentle mood. Layers of other instruments are added, but the piece remains a sweet and soothing lullaby. Simply lovely!
If you are new to Davol’s music, as I was, be sure to check it out! I’m sure longtime fans will also be more than pleased with this excellent CD. Samples are available at www.davolmusic.com. CDs and downloads are available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Highly recommended!
Kathleen Parsons, MainlyPiano.com
I was completely blown away by this album!
Kevin Waterman, The Cosmic Island (Live365.com)
Everytime I put the CD on to pick a track for my program I end up listening to the entire thing. It's addictive.
1980s Billboard-charting New Age phenom Davol returns with a new collection of feel-good, instrumental electronic pop that, like the album’s title, is a Good Sign that synthesizer-based New Age music is alive and well and here to stay in the 2010’s. From beginning to end, the album is anchored down by infectious, rhythmic sampled bass and percussion grooves over which Davol adds multiple layers of keyboard melodies, textures, and flourishes.
Through it all, Davol maintains cohesion and solidarity with a singular style that recalls such artists as Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Jan Hammer, Lyle Mays, Anthony Banks, David Wahler, and Michael Stribling. If you like those musicians, it’s a Good Sign that you’ll love this.
Raj Manoharan, music reviewer