The magical world of music
I find there is always something magical with new music. The waiting is unfailingly building up my expectations and excitement in discovering new melodies, lyrics, and musical dynamics. I could, of course, write this about any album that I am privileged to receive in my mailbox. Airstream is, therefore, no exception to the rule, even more so since I have been looking forward to listening to “Kingdom of Isolation” for weeks and for very special reasons too.
Debut album “Kingdom of Isolation”
Airstream is a newly formed rock / hard rock band who recently released their debut album “Kingdom of Isolation”. I cannot hide the fact that I was a bit disappointed when I first listened to it through our Dali Skyline 1000 speakers, but it has nothing to do directly with the music. I simply felt that the musicians – both as individuals and as a band – and the music deserved a better production. “Kingdom of Isolation” could have been more dynamic that way. Those speakers are unforgiving in such cases.
This being said and out of my way, let’s talk music shall we. I have to warn you though, if you are looking for insight on what the album sounds like, that is to say, what other bands Airstream can be compared to, you are reading the wrong review. Besides, this is NOT a review but rather the reflexions of a music enthusiast after a few listenings of “Kingdom of Isolation”. My French favorite singer/poet Francis Cabrel wrote, in his adaptation of “Rosie” by Jackson Browne:
“Faut pas dire à qui je ressemble, / Faut dire qui je suis” which literally means:
“Don’t say to whom I look like, / Say who I am”.
This is what I intend to do as I write about Airstream debut album “Kingdom of Isolation”.
“Kingdom of Isolation” – track by track
Are you kidding me? Do you really think that I am going to tell you why I like each and every track? This is too much of a subjective exercise and it is best that you listen to the album yourselves to build your own opinion; more importantly, experience the music without any influence from yours truly!
Suffice it to say though that I first got hooked by “You had the World In Your Hands” (8:06 minutes, for once I picked the longest song) and “Addicted” (with a similar theme as the latter, I think); these two songs have the extra spice talking to my goosebumps and made me lend an attentive ear. Kee Marcello, one of my favorite guitarists plays on “You had the World in Your Hands“, and he is as always brilliant… but guess what… he is not the reason why I love that song. I think that it is one of the most creative pieces on the album. The lyrics have this recurring theme that I find in my favorite bands new material lately (I only wish “Kingdom of Isolation” had lyrics in the booklet). Besides the lyrics, the light – yet melancholic – touches of the piano give the song all its emotional dimension, contrasted with the powerful guitar solo that brings in the drama of life and complete the track nicely.
“Kingdom of Isolation” reminded me of…
Pun intended, of course!
As I look back when the band Europe took a break in the 90s, it opened my world to new music and I remember the feelings I had then when I played a “new” band at the time. Everything sounded great and made me very happy.
This is precisely what Airstream reminded me of. The music itself is not extraordinary and yet it is. The type of creativity the band shows talks straight to my spirit – there are some contradictory feelings within the same song, which I find amusing and inspiring. “Oh Mother Oh Father” is a weird little gem, slightly progressive and fun to play – on repeat despite its 7:40 minutes.
Generally speaking “Kingdom of Isolation” has catchy melodies, just enough darkness, some drama and a dash of humor which makes it a very pleasant album to listen to… not to mention prestigious guests appearances such as Thomas Larsson and Kee Marcello – the cherry (-ies) on the cake.
In Airstream‘s own words from the title track, remember this:
“You can be a hero, you can be a king, you don’t need anyone, you can be anything”
Magic is still alive!
Staffan Karlsson: lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards
Micke Höglund: bass guitar, backing vocals
Mathias Brask: lead guitar, backing vocals
Tommy Moon: drums, vocals