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  Jetlag Dreams  
  Departure Lounge  
  Bella Union  
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Bella Union records is currently engaged in a series of releasing 7 albums of 7 instrumental tracks a piece. They are calling this "Series 7", and Jetlag Dreams is installment 4.

I have enjoyed the series to date, but i was not too impressed with the last Departure Lounge album. However, what i really didn't like about that disc was the totally generic "pop" nature of the vocals. How would Departure Lounge do as an instrumental act?

The answer is "amazingly well". Jetlag Dreams is 7 dreamy songs of wonderful lite piano based pop. I honestly can find nothing wrong with it's simple yet lovely keyboard melodies.

Technically, there is nothing new on this album. It's all been done before, i know. Take a piano, play a light arpeggio, someone hits a bass note in the background, and a low keyboard drone starts up, only to be followed by some brushed drumming.

It's a tried and true formula, and somehow Departure Lounge seem to pull it off with amazing agility. The album feels almost organic -- as if, rather than setting out to write 7 instrumental pop tunes, Departure Lounge took their instruments into the studio, and just played. And this is the result. If there was a horn i would say that it was jazzy.

All of the tunes on here follow a certain pattern: a piano lays down a main melody, an organ plays a low drone underneath, a guitar plays a quiet accompaniment, a bass slowly progresses through some notes, and a drum kit is quietly brushed in the background. Slow, steady, and really lovely.

Oh sure, there are some differences. Equestrian Skydiving sounds like there is a theremin thrown into the mix. Purple Fluffy Haze has an acoustic rather than electric guitar for a nice pace changing effect. A Strange Descent has tremolo on the guitar and some sort of vibraphone, making what is indeed an eerie and strange sound. Etc. I could point out some little tweak on each song, if i wanted.

But that's not really important. What is important is that Departure Lounge have crafted an excellent series of instrumental tunes.

So, if you like the sound of the piano, this is definitely a recommended album.

Related Links:

Bella Union Series 7:

Volume 1: Gwei-lo by Gwei-lo
Volume 2: In The Pulse Of an Artery by Rothko
Volume 3: Pelican by Bonnevil
...Out Of There, Departure Lounge's previous full-length release.

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