George Koumantzelis / The Aeolian Kid
A RECORD REVIEW OF: “NOIR” by Ray Goshay
A RECORD REVIEW OF: “NOIR” by Ray Goshay
There are artists, there are musicians, there are musicians who are artists, and there are artists who are musicians. Ray Goshay is an artist who is also a musician. I have known Ray since the winter of 1995 when he walked into my health food store one day holding his black Epiphone guitar, sat himself down in the big comfy chair in the back of the room, and began to play me his original songs. I can vouch for the fact that he is one of the most talented artists and musicians that I have ever personally met and had the pleasure of collaborating with in my life. He has an abundance of passion and soul. This album – NOIR – is not his first foray into releasing his recorded music to the public. He has done that before with cassettes – like we all used to do. But it is his first official CD release, and it is truly a labor of love. The album cover is classic.
These songs are not your standard folk-rock, singer-songwriter, tell-a-story kind of songs. But neither are they jazz, new age, blues, hard rock, jam band music, or classical compositions. Most of them have words, for sure. These are not long instrumental excursions into psychedelic spheres of mind-manifesting grooves from the gods. No. These are all well-crafted and long-labored, real, heart-felt songs sung from the soul by a real artist who puts his total passion into every performance. I know for a fact that Ray has been working on this album for around a decade – more or less – and it shows. There is nothing like it. It’s a masterpiece. This album has what is missing in most music today: character. It reflects the genius and genuine integrity of its creator. This is not like any kind of music you have ever heard before. This is pure “Ray Goshay Music.” Dig it! …
TRACK #1. Noir (5:09) – Soft delivery, medium tempo, low volume dance / trance music with moody vocals and aesthetic atmospheric sounds. Hand your girlfriend that glass of fine wine!
TRACK #2. Illusion of Control (4:41) – Hard delivery, fast tempo, high volume dance music with electronic sounds that will tickle your toes, grab you by the sexy ankles, and get you out onto the floor to strut your stuff. Can you speak French?
TRACK #3. Mor (0:52) – Soft delivery, medium tempo, low volume little instrumental gem set right into the perfect place in the running song order mix of the album to help the listener take a break from the dance floor and inter into a reticulated meditative space of noetic sound that is best appreciated at the time of NOIR.
TRACK #4. The Ballad of Aeryn Sun (5:46) – Hard delivery, fast tempo, high volume dance tune with passionate vocals and exceptionally well composed synthesizer-created sounds from the Akashik field of the heavenly ethereal zone of the Muse of Music. Exceptional vocal delivery. Feel the beat! Feel the heat!
TRACK #5. Never Goin’ Back (3:33) – Hard delivery, fast tempo, high volume pop-rock song – with a bit of a country flair. Nice guitar work. Nice harmony vocals that sound a lot like Grace Slick from the Jefferson Airplane. The harmonica playing adds some down-home funky flavor to the total mix. A really good song.
TRACK #6. Stranger in Graceland I (1:15) – Hard delivery, fast tempo, high volume sonic excursion into the mind of Ray. Cool electric guitar string wizard work. Great drum work. I like the “Let It Bleed” car horn.
TRACK #7. Stranger in Graceland I (3:54) – Hard delivery, medium tempo, high volume dance groove that has those eighties, spoken-word, drop-ins into the mix that break-up the flow with interesting thought-drops. More cool electric guitar wizardry. … “There are no flying cars!” … But, I’ll take that bath with the lady with the sexy voice who woke-up tomorrow. Dig the gargle-growl at the end of the song!
TRACK #8. Il Selenzio Nero (1:21) – Acoustic, soft delivery, slow tempo, low volume atmospheric soundtrack music that sounds like an outtake from a spaghetti western. Nice acoustic guitar. Another island in the mix.
TRACK #9. Fourteen-Hundred Miles (6:49) – Hard delivery, slow tempo, high volume pop-rock song. Very romantic. Nice drumming. Lots of atmospheric overdubs that add a touch of ethereal moodiness to the mix. It’s not country, it’s not folk, it’s not disco, and it sure is not rap – but it rocks in a swingy kind of Goshay way.
I like the guitar a lot. I like the way that it all blends together. The mix is masterful.
TRACK #10. Mr. Obsessive (3:51) – Hard delivery, fast tempo, low volume dance groove with talk-over lyrics in a cowboy voice that rhyme and grab at your mind like Rod Serling can only grab at your mind. You have surely entered The Twilight Zone of the album. … “I might shave my head just for fun,” too! … Gives rap a whole new meaning. Gives techno a whole new outlook. Gives hip-hop a whole new soda-jerk. … Gives, gives, and gives.
TRACK #11. The Left Hand of Darkness (1:23) – Soft delivery, slow tempo, low volume. Welcome to the world of the Insects of Insight. Poetry with cool sound effects and sonic architectural wonder. Percolating percussion. Reminds me of mid-era, whimsical and adventurous Pink Floyd – before their songs became dominated by lyrical structure and somber images of sadness and madness. Bring back experimental and eclectic sounds like those found here!
TRACK #12. Angst (6:39) – Hard delivery, slow tempo, low volume piece that will twist your mind around the corner in a good way. Not so spooky as you might think at first. In fact, kind of funny in a way – but really cool science fiction sounds that perfectly complement the philosophical and poetic lyrics. Better than therapy!
TRACK #13. Cordite (3:14) – Soft delivery, medium tempo, low volume acoustic folk song. Just guitar, vocals, and harmonica. Obviously a first-take cassette demo – but often these are the best. Very soulful and passionate. Romantic in the truest sense of the word. The acoustic guitar work is exquisitely beautiful.
TRACK #14. Eons of Ebon (1:35) – Soft delivery, slow tempo, low volume acoustic piece. Nice acoustic guitar and harmonica. Sparse vocals. Subtle and moody in a subdued and demure, relaxing way. Cool.
TRACK #15. A Blink Away (4:50) – Soft delivery, medium tempo, high volume song. Major production. Think: James Bond soundtrack music! A lot went into this. Powerful vocal delivery with deep lyrics. Passionate performance on everyone’s part. Perfect percussion for this mood piece. Nice sound effects on the harmony vocals and synthesizer effects. Beautiful electric guitar work. … Ah, Ray – you are a real romantic at heart.
TRACK #16. Ayr to Qayez (2:45) – Soft delivery, slow tempo, low volume song. Acoustic guitar and reverbed vocals. Singing that gives new meaning to “the love song.” Thoughtful, romantic lyrics. Laid-back. Different
TRACK #17. Welcome Back Claudia Black (3:58) – Hard delivery, fast tempo, high volume song. You never heard the call to prayer from the minarets like this before. Cool percussive introduction. Real rock-like build-up that reminds me of Brian May’s guitar playing in Queen. Powerful beat. Passionate vocal delivery.
TRACK #18. Auld Lang Syne (Live at RRR) (1:33) – Soft delivery, slow tempo, low volume song. Welcome to Ron’s Radical Records record store in Lowell, Massachusetts where Ron and Ray and friends welcomed in the new year with heart and soul like only good old friends can do. Acoustic to the core! Feel the warmth.
I am proud to call this man my friend. He is a true artist and an original musician like no one else I know. Listen to this record through speakers. It will touch your heart. … YOWZA! – George Nicholas Koumantzelis / The Aeolian Kid
Copyright ©2012 George Nicholas Koumantzelis / Paw Print Publications (All Rights Reserved)