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Randy Aloysius – Yesterday (Part 1) – Album Review

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On Montreal’s Randy Aloysius’ new album Yesterday (Part 1) there’s a sense of joy, a sense of sorrow, and thankfully a great sense of talent. Mixing parts Barenaked Ladies parts Old Crow Medicine Show, some trumpet and a singer songwriter style, he lands on very specific sound, that may be more a good thing for some and more of the same for others, but nevertheless provides enough great musical moments to earn anyone’s respect.

There’s a bright mix of guitars, vocals and trumpets on the ironically titled opener “Goodbye (Revisited)” that are only accentuated by the great harmonies. Although the track sticks to its verse groove throughout the added organs and instrumental moments make it a delightful relaxing tune. “When We Get Older” bursts into a train-like shuffle as Aloysius dreams about all the possible futures with his partner. The trumpets really elevate the choruses and bridges of the song from nice changes of pace to almost epic moments within themselves.

A quaint mix of xylophone and piano craft a cute opening to “Like A Song” that feed right into the emotional heft of the song. Despite a strong start the track doesn’t exactly take this heft anywhere and ends up repeating the same tone instead of driving it home on a track complex enough to handle it. On “Enough” however Aloysius takes a simple, soft song and invests amazing harmonies and powerful chord variations to keep a single chord progression sounding fresh. Additional soundscapes in the song’s bridge give it a beautiful, ethereal feeling that most songs like it do without unfortunately.

There’s a feeling of joining in the middle of the song on “Always” before the song switches tones into its joyful swing. The song stands out with its pop sensibilities, keeping variety between sections while keeping the song flowing effortlessly, and infusing even more great trumpet after each chorus. “Unto The Stars” opens on a rushing dream-like guitar flourish that places the song in a floating atmosphere that its great synth lines continue greatly. Despite the great groove it presents and how great it sounds, the giro-heavy section in the middle of the song feels like a completely separate beast from track it started from.

There’s a more straightforward feeling to “And Though I’ll Love Her…” that allow its sad vocals to have a stronger affect, allowing its light tinges of synth to provide the grandeur of the track. Though the bridge is a welcome bit of variety, it’s the unorthodox percussion line that steals the show at that point of the song, proving Aloysius has a few tricks up his sleeve. The album closes more appropriately on “Goodbye” a great little guitar driven pop track with a great bass groove and joy to its performance and sound. The additional vocables in the final chorus give one last treat to listeners as the album ends.

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