Among the several missions that music has got to achieve on this earth with humans, perhaps the most remarkable one is connecting with people in a spiritual way. Many artists have tried to invest in the power of music to deliver spiritual themes. Personally, I found “ALWAYS” one of the most remarkable accomplishments in these lines, especially in the new age contemporary music genre. I feel Dan Chadburn has achieved the crown jewel of his creations in this very powerful album.
When I set my hands on penning a review of this album, the reverberations of the melodies of ‘ALWAYS’ are still ringing in my heart. How intimately the tunes connected with my soul was unprecedented and hence profound. Before we will walk through the album together, I would like to tell you that you are in for an exceptional kind of spiritual treat that will satiate your soul’s hunger.
In ‘Always’, all the songs have been composed and performed by Dan except ‘O Shenandoah‘, which has been arranged and performed by him.
Reflecting on the mission of creating the album, Dan himself says, “In recording ALWAYS, I wanted to create a collection of pieces for solo piano that celebrates the unfailing resilience of the human spirit, the steadfast courage of the human heart, the eternal existence and mystery of the human soul, and the remarkable, spiritual synchronicity of them all.” Therefore, the profound spiritual purpose in front of the musician is very clear before we get ready to plunge into the melodies of these tracks.
Let us together walk through the tracks of ALWAYS
1. Always (3:14)
Each of us is searching for something or the other almost all the time in our lives. When that search is about something we are passionate about, we are haunted by enthusiasm and inquisitiveness. These two words describe the characteristics of the piano notes of the opening track preparing you for the treatment that will follow.
2. Uncharted Waters (3:22)
As suggested by the title of this second track, there is something mysterious and novel about the musical notes of this opus. Meandering with your soul’s search, you feel like visiting some exotic places that have remained unadulterated to date. You will see several surprises on the way.
3. O Shenandoah (3:27)
Shenandoah is a slow-moving river often associated with spruce forests. A unique member of the album, the third track combines in it a childlike enthusiasm and the graceful movement of a newly born spring. With this track, it is time to rest for a while and refresh before moving ahead.
4. Turning Point (4:44)
Turning points in our life bring us new goals and purposes. They also get new responsibilities and tasks to accomplish. While we earnestly wait to see the turning point in our lives, the fourth track is all set to give momentum to our newfound mission. The tunes are captivating and you may want to come back to this track once more.
5. Yesteryear (3:12)
Sweet memories of the past are always alluring to revisit when we need some inspiration or respite. ‘Yesteryear‘ carries some element of reflection on the past. The skillfully created melodies of this track trigger the listener’s nostalgic moods in a contemplative tone.
6. Minuet (2:42)
The shortest track in the album, ‘Minuet‘ is also a unique composition that stands out from the rest. As the name suggests, the tunes of this track are graceful and make you wave in joy for a while. When you are merrier, you are energetic too.
7. Uncertainty (4:12)
Uncertainty is the top characteristic feature of life. When that uncertainty is about some unanticipated pleasant surprises on the way, we are delighted and motivated. This track brings you some surprising twists and turns of melodies. The bundle certainly assures a novel kind of experience.
8. Missing You (3:07)
When we confront happiness we may not want to enjoy it alone. Those times remind us of our loved ones and we pine to see them and get them back into our lives once again. If we can’t make it happen, we at least wish to find some solace in the sweet memories connected to them. ‘Missing You‘ is a skillfully woven opus to foster some pleasant memories of our beloved ones.
9. The Wishing Well (3:31)
‘The Wishing Well’ has the power to grant the spoken word. This track is a representative member of the album in evoking a sense of joy and expectation. Enjoy the soft touch sounds and play with your soul till the end.
10. Sacred Breath (3:26)
The tenth track ‘Sacred Breath’ is a kind of meditative piece in the album. Though there are many twists and unexpected turns in the opus, when you allow yourself to get lost, you will start loving the uncertainty and move along in contemplation.
11. Synchronicity (2:48)
Synchronicity comes into play when a team has to achieve a common goal in front of it. When tunes synchronize, they create a melody. The eleventh opus gets brisker and more energetic in leading the listener to the destination. This is one of the most captivating compositions on the album.
12. Final Curtain (3:28)
As the last member in the album, the twelfth and the final track comes as a grand finale in this composition. The deployment of tunes and melodies in this track appears to consolidate the theme the musician wants to convey through this album. As the final curtain comes down, you are left with a sense of fulfillment that you will carry with you for so long after leaving the album.
Dan’s stature and talents as a highly capable new-age artist are very tall and highly inspiring. ‘ALWAYS‘ is certainly a masterpiece in music that commands the attention of the world community for the lofty purpose it has in front of it. Also, the meticulous way in which Dan has achieved his spiritual mission through this composition needs special acclaim and appreciation. If you have been craving for so long to connect with your soul in an intimate way, ‘ALWAYS’ can make it happen in a profound way.
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