Robin Gottfried's "Images and Rhymes"
To Whom It May Concern:
In the attempt at full disclosure, I am an award winning composer, audio engineer and record producer. As an incredibly selective individual (many might say snobby, opinionated, cranky bastard) I am typically interested only in production and creative work that exudes a high level of competence and achievement. Rarely these days do I find myself absolutely impressed with a contemporary recording from start to finish. This may be due to being jaded from long music industry experience, jaded with overly-compressed audio assaults on my ears from commercial radio and web, the low fidelity of bit rate reduced online audio formats and the abrasiveness of contemporary media noise in general.
Robin Gottfried's new album "Images and Rhymes" restores my faith that individuals still exist who understand such timeless musical concepts as melody, chord structure and progression, as well as appropriate choice and positioning of instrumental texture. Gottfried has a singing voice that comes across as experienced and absolutely compelling in its honesty. His singing is extremely easy to listen to, and retains an obvious and strong emotional connection to his songwriting. Robin "means" these songs, and it comes through on every note. To compliment Gottfried's ample multi-instrumental musicianship, the choice of other contributors is also deftly handled. Drum parts are real, clean and solidly grooved, and background vocals are lush without being dense, and tasteful without getting in the way of the primary melody line. Vocal chordal modulations move through each piece sinuously, an example of Gottfried's formidable arranging experience. Additionally, the lyrical content makes the regular events in Gottfried's worlds come alive, revealing both the challenges and joys he has observed. Creative people, whether they are consciously aware of it or not, expose themselves within their art, within their creativity. Gottfried makes this point unashamedly and elegantly. I find myself listening over and over, and have yet to settle on a specific favorite.
Finally, and from the perspective of a (competing) composer, audio engineer and producer, this album has been recorded with the utmost care and attention to quality... both within technical aspects as well as performances. The icing on the cake is the superbly tasteful mastering work by Lane Gibson (www.lanegibson.com). The CD is as rich and smooth as a rare and prohibitively expensive brandy, and provides the ever-elusive blend of articulation, spatial believability, rich density and heft. (Gibson's unobtrusive touches reveal how much an experienced, musically oriented mastering engineer can add to a
production.) I don't recommend much in the way of musicians and CD's period, but in my candid opinion Robin Gottfried's "Images and Rhymes"
deserves more than a few critical listens. Buy it.
Peter Bruce Wilder
May 18, 2011
Peter Bruce Wilder
dba Ergo Communications