Review of Force For Good’s New Album: Innocence
How often you listen to music that is close to the heart and has a message! Well, there are sentient beings who feel the pain of the planet and they use their art to bring a positive impact. Every sound wave that emerges from the human voices or the instruments can make a difference, for it has energy in it, which can be used to bring in change.
Force For Good, a team of musicians and tech people, including Jonathan Sprout and Joe Mennonna, Rodney Whittenberg, Leslie Chew, and Hillary Blackhas, are tapping into that energy by releasing their next album, with an intention of addressing various present-day social issues and, at the same time, uplifting the mood of humanity.
Album Name: Innocence
Artist Name: FORCE FOR GOOD
Total Time: 59:52
There are fourteen tracks on the album and all of them have a specific purpose, which I always like in any piece of art, especially music because it can move mountains, as they say.
Starting on a very positive and high-spirited note, “Natural” is pure joy. With a strong rhythm, it marches forward and lets you de-stress yourself. Maybe, you would like to shake your leg a bit!
“Uplifters” is a beautiful piece of intent and depth. Starting with solo piano, it invites the listeners to accompany on a journey that goes deeper and deeper as the cello moves in. The song moves into a totally different rhythm uplifting the whole mood, and finally ending with a somber touch. Very nicely planned!
“Reverence” is a rich mix of ambient sounds and the piano and Cathedral-like sounds. After 2:15s, for a minute, the song has a different appeal and a bit of child-like innocence to it, before it returns to its original theme.
“Vinyasa” has a very laid back approach and is perfect for a leisure day, free of stress and curious anxiety to do something–maybe, you can call it a mobile-free day (if you are not playing the music on your mobile phone, that is). The hint of Indian Sitar is the masterstroke in this piece.
By now, I had a bit of tinge that maybe they will bring in wind instruments to add brilliance to the overall presentation of this album, and the team did it in “Wilderness”. The mesmerizing sound of the flute takes you straight to the jungle, and the whole theme is magically woven.
“Adirondack” is pure magic woven by cello, and you can just lose yourself listening to it. Very deep! Also happens to be the longest track on the album.
From “Hunger”, the album picks up five social causes that have a direct impact on humanity, and the music is composed to bring attention to these issues and to motivate the listeners to participate in any way to contribute positively to these issues. No wonder that the issue of hunger is chosen, as it is one of the worst and easily-remediable issues on earth. It involves less investment than other causes, though the heart and empathy could be as big as you can get! Very soulful and touching music!
One of the worst enemies of the earth–“Plastic”. I personally try my bit to reduce the usage of plastic in my daily life, even involving lesser and lesser usage of polythene bags. I liked the somberness of the music in this piece–it depicts the plight of the earth which is full of plastic and less of air. The guitar weaves a convincing picture of the tragedy before the keyboard motivates us to come out of our habits and do something about it.
Just like hunger, homelessness is another evil that plagues our societies and almost no country is saved from it. People living on the streets die of hunger, extreme weather conditions, diseases, and accidents. “Homeless” is the call to do something for such people.
To talk philosophically, our planet is an ocean only–the land where we live is just a piece that the mighty oceans have lent us. To protect the waters from pollution, and also to safeguard them from oppressors is something that we need to do, for our whole eco-system is connected with the big tanks. Even if you live far away from the “Oceans”, you are still connected to them because they operate the whole earth. The subtlety of the piece is quite noticeable, before, at 2:20s, it explodes like a cruise-party.
The final piece among the causes is “Wind”. Do I even have to stress the importance of this element in our lives? It is verily our breath! The piece has a hint of Chinese or East Asian string instruments, though the impression is created on the guitar only.
The album ends with under-a-minute small pieces that are named poetically after the team: Force For Good! Reminders of what we set out to do and become.
The team has promised that they will be releasing a film for each song every month. Check out the trailer for HOMELESS:
What I liked about this album is the fact that it is simply to-the-point. It has a definite purpose and it achieves that. For simple pleasure and entertainment, you can choose to listen to some other music, but if you would like music to tell you to lift yourself up and do something for humanity, this music should be in your kitty!