dimanche 20 mai 2012

CRAIG PADILLA: The Heart of the Soul (2012)

"The Heart of the Soul possesses the beauty of its naming!"
1 You Were Here 2:51
2 Sense of Wonder 7:51
3 Angel in My Eyes 11:02
4 Heart of the Soul 4:17
5 Lost in You 5:28
6 New Directions 5:36
7 Spirit Signs 9:04
8 Sensual Beauty 4:10
9 Midnight Encounter 13:10
10 Divine Embrace 7:13

SPOTTED PECCARY : SPM1405  (CD70:48)

The Heart of the Soul marks a return for Craig Padilla who had made silent since 2009 (Beyond the Portal) and since 2006 (The Light in the Shadow) as solo artist. It’s in a musical pattern quite diversified, where his influences of the Berlin School movement cogitate with more personal musical structures, that Craig Padilla weaved the main melodious lines of his last opus. Because although The Heart of the Soul is a very intimate work, coming from an artist who accustomed us to deep atmospheric flights, it’s dominated by fine contemplative and lyrical melodies which subject by a surprising sensitivity.
Even if poetic and imprint by serenity, it’s on hubcaps that starts The Heart of the Soul which hears a line of crystal clear arpeggios and another with lower tones to cross the swords of "You Were Here". A bass-drum comes to bear this sequential comings and goings which move towards a good cosmic rock structure. "Sense of Wonder" is the first of the pearls coming out of The Heart of the Soul. Some piano notes divided between romance and melancholy draw the outlines of a beautiful cosmic melody which drags its harmonious refrain in the breaths of ethereal choirs and stars dusts. Espousing the poetic sweetness of Suzanne Ciani's acoustic works, the intro of "Sense of Wonder" transports us at the doors of dream when some bouncy synth pads change the course of the dreamlike delicacy, pulling this soft title towards a fine spasmodic rhythm, challenging the balance of harmonies strummed in the shade of angelic dreams. These piano notes dipped into a meditative nostalgia are flowing parsimoniously in the intro of "Angel in My Eyes", leading us towards the spheres of a more progressive atmospheric EM with its twisted synth solos and breezes which blow like the cosmic wanderings of Tangerine Dream in a dense cosmic mist perturbed by strong resounding pulsations. If the first portion wants to be more exploratory, the second one is sharply more melodious with its piano notes of which the evasive harmony roams among delicate twinkling arpeggios and more lyrical choirs, also crossing the first works of the American pianist famous for her much romanced approach. Furthermore we can feel Suzanne Ciani's romantic and orchestral influences on this Craig Padilla's very personal work. Like on the very beautiful melody which is the title-track where piano notes are tightened in beautiful orchestral arrangements and on "Lost in You" of which the breaths of mermaids charmers of senses are caressing a melancholic approach shaken by the soft rhythm of a beautiful electronic ballad.
"New Directions" is another pretty melody which begins with some hesitating chords dancing in a praline-flavored mist. Soft synth layers rock a sweetness which nests in resonant pulsations while the rhythm takes shape around sequences which undulate around flickering percussions, pushing quietly the progression of "New Directions" towards the waltzing mists of wrapping orchestral arrangements. The intro of "Spirit Signs" is swayed by a mixture of absent choirs and warm winds before fine arpeggios that sound like percussions are moving stealthily in a corridor filled by an ambience of mystery. The movement gets out of cerebral limbs with fine kicks which structure an indefinite rhythm. A rhythm which waves awkwardly under the breaths of an ethereal choir and of synths with as much slightly bouncy lines as some vaporous ones to die out in a soft river of cosmic serenity. "Sensual Beauty" is yet another nice contemplative melody of which the piano notes are dreaming under mists and lines finely jumpy of a distant synth. "Midnight Encounter" is the key moment of this Craig Padilla's last opus. Concretizing his very intimate vision of his intra-personal relation, the Californian synthesist weaves a wonderful passage towards the peace of mind and its dreams through synth lines which cry into waltzing fogs. A great sequential movement frees some keys which swirl in a fine staccato spiral, molding the steps of an enchanting morphic dance which will unite its delicacy to a more punchy approach before bringing back "Midnight Encounter" to the lands of oniric dreams. This is pure magic put into music! "Divine Embrace" ends this wonderful introspective journey that is The Heart of the Soul with a long ambient track where the notes of a solitary guitar / harp drop the vestiges of a solitude forgotten into morphic layers of a synth divided between its lyrical wrapping lines and its absent choruses.
The Heart of the Soul possesses the beauty of its naming! There are pure marvels in this album which risks destabilizing the fans that expect an ambient or purely electronic album, such as Beyond the Portal or still Analog Destination. Except that the more we move forward in its discovery and the more one are seduced by those melodies which hook the soul to draw sighs of melancholy. I enjoyed a lot this immensely poetics work of Craig Padilla where the sweetnesses of a progressive New Age are melting into the complexities of a Berlin School cajoled by a brilliant composer who has still so much to tell.

Sylvain Lupari (May 20th, 2012)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=15242

* If you want to know more and discover the musical world of Craig Padilla and hear some MP3 snippets, here is his website link: http://www.craigpadilla.com/

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