Review of Stephen Wallack’s New Album: Colors
Colors make the world more beautiful and enjoyable. Stephen Wallack’s album titled “Colors” transports the concept of colors to the world of music. Colors can profoundly impact human moods, sentiments, and feelings and so can the music composed by an artist who knows how to work with human psychology.
Stephen Wallack is a gifted pianist and a composer of an accomplished track record. His enviable mastery over musical composition is the result of his formal training ably augmented by personal explorations and self-learning. He is famous for taking an altogether different route to composition freeing himself from the stereotyped musical conventions. His music is always fresh and surprisingly unique.
Stephen was drawn towards music even as a child. He took piano lessons when he was just five years old. In his twelfth year, George Wilson’s album ‘December’ highly inspired him and with strenuous efforts, Wallack learned to play the entire album in his childhood piano. Dedication, determination, and devotion are the three words that landed him where he stands in musical accomplishment today. From his fourteenth year, Wallack started composing music born of his personal imagination. For Wallack, music is the language in which he speaks out his philosophy, reflections on life, feelings, and emotions.
Mike McCready, the guitarist who played for ‘90s rock band Pearl Jam’, presented the first guitar to Wallack and gave him his lessons in guitar. Under the influence of Mc Cready, Wallack expanded his musical talents and sonic preferences by learning from many other artists. In acknowledging the influence of his dear friend, Wallack says, “I’m beyond fortunate to have the friendship with Mike that I have. “He really has inspired me to continue pursuing my passion for music.”
‘Colors’ is born from the impressions created by the life around. While narrating what inspired this album, Stephen Wallack says, “COLORS is a collection of my memories and experiences from the past year. People, events, and moments that have impacted me during this challenging time in our history.”
The composer dedicates this album to his nephew Marlon who has created the album’s cover design along with his mother, who is also the author’s sister. A severe brain injury during his childhood left Marlon unable to move or communicate with others. With his mother’s help, Marlon has learned to paint with his fingers. As per the words of Stephen, Marlon has been the inspiration for the whole family.
Consisting of 10 tracks, Colors plays for 48 minutes and 11 seconds.
The opening track is also the longest in the album playing for 07:08 minutes. Named after a geographical feature known as Birch Lake that supports diverse kinds of aquatic vegetation, this opus brings in front of our eyes a lush green landscape bustling with life forms and joy.
True to its title that means teasing playfully, the second member of the album is set in soft melodies to engage the audience for about four minutes with some joyful as well as restful moments. There is nothing so serious to worry about in this transient world and hence we have reasons to stay at peace.
Named after the album, Colors is the third track in the album and the second-longest following the opening track. The 05:41 minutes long opus is built with joyful notes that mimic the variety of colors that enhance the beauty of the world. This is indeed a charming composition adding true value to your time as you get immersed in it.
The fourth piece called Stunning is a marvelous opus playing for 04:36 minutes. The musical notes flow like ripples in a crystal clear lake stretching silently for miles. Music is ‘stunning’ when it is able to relate to the emotions of the listener and transport them to the wavelength of the composer.
The fifth member in the album is named ‘Brave’ and plays for 04:49 minutes. Life is uncertain and you must be prepared to face anything that life might make you confront. When you are brave, nothing seems difficult to overcome. The artist prepares the listener for such a state of mind by investing in the harmonic rhythms of the piano.
If there is something on the earth that we can do without any physical effort, it is to ‘Dream’. Opening with a brisk note, Dreams, the sixth opus transports you to memories of your past life that have left deep impressions in you for a lifetime. The 05:29 minutes long is a real treat to those looking for some nostalgic escape.
Named after our planet, the seventh track is the shortest member in the album playing for 03:44 minutes. The colorful notes of the track bring out the concept of the earth in all its glory, life forms, freshness, seasons, and myriad beauties.
We all have hopes for ourselves and the world around us. Bereft of hope, life can’t be lived even for a second. The eighth opus is about building hope to build our life. The element of construction is vividly felt in this 04:39 minutes long opus that sounds highly positive and affirmative.
Stephen Wallack names the 04:28 minutes long ninth track of the album after Marlon, his nephew to whom he dedicates the album. As per the author’s note, Marlon is a gifted boy despite the disability he suffers on account of a serious brain injury. For the author, Marlon is a symbol of hope and the meticulously composed opus celebrates the spirit of discovering something nice and wonderful in a challenged boy.
By the word midnight, we all think about darkness and silence. There is another character of midnight and that is about regeneration. The setting of midnight that facilitates a deep sleep is also refreshing and generates the energy that keeps us going over the next day. The concluding piece of the album playing for 03:33 minutes leaves you with a feeling of fulfillment to take forward the inspiration you got from the album.
Over the last two years, Stephen Wallack released three albums namely “Chapters”, “Stories” and “Reflections”, all of them conveying the memories and inspirations that impacted him. Following suit, ‘Colors’ is the fourth solo piano composition in line narrating the impressions of life in the language of music. The bustling music of ‘Colors’ can inspire any listener and relate to his heart’s cherished memories without requiring any human language. While you set out to listen to ‘Colors’ you are sure to fall in love with the most unique kind of brisk piano notes that will transport you to a new world of joy, excitement, and appreciation of life.
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