Mellowdrama is one of the best received and highly rated Melodic-Electronica/Downbeat albums of the year:
"For fans of forward-thinking electronica, Mellowdrama should not be missed" --Brent Kallmer, Amazon.com
"One of the best downtempo releases of 2006" - Syntopia Magazine
"Gorgeously sculpted, uber-melodic downtempo" - BPM Magazine
"Joey Fehrenbach – Mellowdrama' Verdict? Buy this CD now!" - Buzzoutroom.com
Each track delivers a multitude of unique electronic sounds that exercise the mind." - Slacklineradio.com
Mellowdrama is an enlivening mix of longing, loneliness, and minimalism. One listen, and you may be reminded of Ulrich Schnauss’ A Strangely Isolated Place or Boards of Canada’s The Campfire Headphase, but Mellowdrama is much more than that.
Mellowdrama’s opening track, Being Around You, starts with a minimalist groove that slowly builds without ever meandering aimlessly. The minimal beat is eventually taken over by a catchy synth melody reminiscent of The Cure, which finally gives way to vocoded vocals.
Introducing more atmospheric and organic sounds, a high point of Mellowdrama is the album’s second track, Runaway Child. With its radio friendly beats, male vox, and a haunting, infectious melodic synth hook, the song boasts a reverb so cavernous, it could have been recorded from the farthest corner of the universe.
The atmospheric and organic sounds introduced in Runaway Child are further explored in track three, Behold, via expressive Moog synths and Theramin sounds, which are successfully used to capture emotion. Its melody is as thoughtful, as it is expressive, haunting, and romantic.
Track four, Particles is a more chill, jazzy, and loungy track than can be found elsewhere on the album. As the track builds, it crosses over into more familiar drum and bass territory. The amalgamation of these sounds work together to create one of the album’s stand out tracks.
Continuing with the more chill, loungy vibe is track five, Beltenebros (the title of which comes from Don Quixote and suggests “Dark Beauty”), Fehrenbach originally recorded this as a dance track for the now defunct label, Hooj Choons. Realizing that he had a solid track on his hands, he remixed this with a more downtempo beat to sit neatly on Mellowdrama.
Following Beltenebros is Rain, the only full vocal track on the album, which tells the story of a messy breakup via jaded, haunting vocals wrapped in a dark orchestra of sound.
Conversely, track seven, I Remember, is more optimistic and hopeful. It starts out minimally with synced water drips and a groovy beat, but builds into a bigger sum of its parts, culminating with a detuned synth lead, and bold acoustic guitar hook taking over the mix.
The album’s most upbeat track, The House Of Lost Hope, features acoustic guitar, multiple drum loops, and steel drums that sound like they’re being played from another dimension. Bordering on sexy and carefree, the song’s incredible, melodic hook will stick in your mind for days.
Mellowdrama closes with Fehrenbach’s first attempt at writing an orchestral song The Beginning, is written in "movements.” Beginning with a sublime beat and getting darker and moodier in the middle, the final movement returns once again to the sublime, completed with blissful, radiant beats.
Mellowdrama is a solid debut and takes the listener on an auditory journey through the haunting, dark, lonely, and twisted without dwelling too far in the melancholy. The underlying euphoric and inspiring beats throughout ensure that Mellowdrama is aural pleasure from beginning to end, while being affable and unexpected at the same time. – Dea Lazaro (1212 Media)