I first came across Ted’s talent when I was on YouTube watching Tori Amos videos and covers. I came across a video of Ted’s in which he had combined Tori’s Black Dove (January) with Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. It was one of the most clever and haunting things I had ever heard.
Recently, Ted has released a full album titled Path To War. He asked me to review it for him. I was honoured and also terrified, because the point of a review is to be completely and utterly honest so that other people will get something out of it, too, and I am a critical listener. I don’t easily like something.
Let me tell you, my fear was unfounded.This album had me by the proverbial balls from the first haunting notes.
What becomes instantly clear is that Ted is talented. Immensely so. He plays the piano and sings in such a way that the two forces create something together, and instead of one carrying the other, it’s a synergy. Additional instruments like drums, guitars, strings and horns are incorporated in all the right places in a non-screamy kind of way.
It seems that in some songs Ted has a flair for the dramatic and theatrical, while in other songs he seems more modest and lets the music speak for him.
Everything comes together on this album. Classical, pop, rock, but all done in such a way that it’s unique. This is an album which cannot be put into one category, which is probably why my iTunes cleverly refers to it as “alternative”. This is by no means background music, because it compells you to really listen. So in a way it’s a conversation killer, but in a really good way.
The album opens with the dark and haunting Horsemen Prelude, which has instantly become one of my favourite songs on the album, along with Anchored and The Engineer. In La Danse Ted even sings in French. Magnifique! Another gem is American Perfume, a seven minute journey that will leave you wanting more. The album closes with the modest American Lullaby, a perfect and calming closing song for this emotionally charged record.
Ted has the talent to pack different styles and moods into one song. This album is haunting, beautiful, happy, sad, burlesque, theatrical, modest, uplifting. It has the ability of conjuring up imagery in one’s mind and it’s something that should be in everyone’s cd player. The only minor downside is that there are no written lyrics with the cd, but maybe that should be considered a clever move because it makes one listen harder.
I know as well as anyone that a review is an opinion, so I suggest you buy Ted’s album and find out for yourself.
Honestly, you’ll thank me for it.
-Inge Bovens (creator of thevelvets.com)