Music: Fractured is my Lunatic Soul’s Prog Rock Album of the Year 2017

There are several traits which help you make a music album, the best of the year. The first listening has an immediate pull; at some point you start tapping your foot; then slowly you pay attention to the lyrics; then Google for the exact lyrics; now you concentrate on the melody; next you relate or recall any past incident or loved one; at some point your eyes moist, shed a tear; commit to listening the next track, and the next. Next day you hear the complete album again. And again. And wish the album had more tracks.

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The solo project

Except in Lunatic Soul’s case you will need to Google about the band too. Or is it a band? Wikipedia has just one line mentioned about this supremely talented bunch into their fifth album. The line goes thus “Lunatic Soul is a progressive rock solo-project fronted by Riverside vocalist and bass guitarist Mariusz Duda in 2008″. All the more reason why every band needs that breakthrough album which cements their place in music history forever. Fractured isn’t a progressive rock album that needs multiple listenings to get hooked to, you like it on the first play. Love it thereafter. Last year The Pineapple Thief & Katatonia broke through with pathbreaking albums which significantly upped their game and got them touring more. Fractured will repair the Lunatic Soul forever.

Influences

Taken from their website,  “Fractured” by Lunatic Soul is not an album to be listened to in the evening. It’s not meant to be savoured with a glass of wine, lights out or eyes closed. When you’re broken, when your world has shattered and…” True to every word. This is classic Lunatic Soul stuff with strong influences from Radiohead, Depeche Mode and a lot of Riverside. Which probably explains the gamut of emotions this album is likely to drown you into.

Mairusz Duda explains: “The main theme of Fractured is coming back to life after a personal tragedy… It’s inspired by what happened in my life in 2016 and by everything that’s happening around us and what’s making us turn away from one another and divide into groups, for better and for worse”

Ranking of Fractured – Lunatic Soul Tracks

Here’s my ranking of the tracks. Although in modern days of listening on internet or Spotify, the tracks come random (shuffle) and that has taken away the essence of song placement and why it was placed where it was. So a ranking makes perfect sense.

1. Moving on – It’s a 5/5 song from the first drum beat, one that you will get hooked to instantly. It’s a song about ‘moving on’ in life hence inspirational enough. The louder you listen to this song more you want the volume up. Classic Depeche Mode touch. However the video is a low budget product and could have been made better visually.

2. Crumbling teeth and the owl eyes – One of the masterpieces and signature Lunatic Soul stuff. Lyrics bound to touch one and all – about a man feeling insecure his partner could leave and that would shut the light out of his life.

3. Anymore – A song representing feelings of a person who wants to tell a lot to his / her separated partner. The lyrics and feel of this song and fact that it’s so relatable to life, stays in the mind. Fact that its also an extremely hummable number – which is something you don’t often say of a Radioheadesque album.

4. A Thousand Shards of Heaven – This is a track which catches you by surprise. The first four minutes are standard commercial sentimental stuff but it’s from here the song just goes to another level. At 4.30 mins you are shaking your head and suddenly it seems so much Lunatic Soul signature stuff. The clarinet/saxophone sounds come in between and it’s a 4.5/5 track now and keeps getting better and better. At the end, it forces you to listen again – from the fourth minute to the twelfth.

5. Blood on a Tightrope – Technically savvy track with and something possibly the band experimented with. It’s neither Radiohead nor Riverside sound. It’s somewhere in between and one which doesn’t walk the commercial line… quite contrary to the lyrics… .”Every day we night we walk the line .. trying not to fall … not lose control”.

6. Red Light Escape – This song gets better as it progresses, has a brilliant chorus and sounds a lot like slow Riverside (mentor band) number.

7. Fractured The title track sounds a lot like how a high on drums Radiohead number would be like. Low on lyrics, high on randomness, the song ends leaving you shaking your heads to the beats. I would rate this the weakest track and yet give it a 3.5/5 – which is a true representation of the quality of the album.

A must listen and I hope it makes to major awards nomination listings!

Mariusz-Duda-1

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