It’s time for us to thank those overly produced tracks that we frequently hear on the radio. We know that’s an odd statement to make, but it’s true. If you take a listen to music that avoids auto-tune and synthesized beats, you will appreciate it more than you would have if those technological advances never existed. So, yes these ‘improvements’ have tarnished a handful of music, but have made authentic music sound even purer. We guess we can apply the Yin Yang belief to the music world.
The auto-society has indirectly given birth to Anthony Scuderi. The elementary school music teacher and band director has implemented his skills as a composer, songwriter and musician on his latest album “Silhouette Suite”, which is available on iTunes now. The seven-track album is comprised of a variety of musicians, a flutist, a clarinetist, a trumpeter, a violinist, a violist, a cellist, a bassist, a guitarist, a drummer and a vibraphonist. Just listing that orchestra brings a smile to our faces because music is about instrumentalists playing instruments, not machines playing instruments. Having an actual orchestra makes the arrangement of a track so positively complex that one click through is not nearly enough. We have no complaints about the repetitious nature that Scuderi’s tracks call for. We will click replay as much as we need in order to feel satisfied.
The album’s opening track, “I self”, required us to forcibly remove our finger off of the play button, so we could move on with our album review. The lead track immediately drew us in with the beauty and the fluidity of the string instruments. We were reeled in even more once the electric, woodwind and percussion instruments were intertwined. The symphony these musical sections created is riveting and constantly keeps us on our toes, waiting for the next beat to drop. When Scuderi’s vocals chime in on the track, our toes hang even more over the edge. His indie rock flare brings the track into the psychedelic realm that we enjoyably get lost in until the track’s completion.
It became a given that we would love “Silhouette Suite”, once track number two, “II family” played. We are suckers for slower-paced songs. Well, only if the vocalist has got the chops and Scuderi has got them. While listening to “II family”, our senses became enamored with the combination of soothing vocals and lingering instrumental sounds. Keeping the passive track from fading into nothing, Scuderi spices up the melodic arrangement and his vocal range throughout the tune.
His way of keeping music lively is apparent not only when looking at each track individually, but also when hearing the album in its entirety. There are distinct elements from each tune that remain with you as you travel from one song to the next, which heightens the album’s cohesiveness. The unity of “Sihouette Suite” is at its strongest between tracks four and five. “IV family”, which is our favorite off the album, puts Scuderi’s vocals on the forefront. Yes, the instrumentals are impeccable, as usual, but the track lets us get to know Scuderi a bit better. His ability to express his emotions in a song without overwhelming the listener is extremely impressive. The track oozes with vulnerability and leaves you a bit somber once it is over.
The sorrows don’t last for too long because track five takes a more upbeat route. With spurts of instrumental energy throughout the tune adjoined with the intonation of Scuderi’s vocals, the song rebuilds the confidence lost in track four. The insecurities triggered in the prior tune can still be felt with the more subdued instrumental sounds of track five, but that’s the way of life. Problems aren’t solved overnight and music shouldn’t give that impression.
Alright, enough of us trying to be therapists, let’s get back to music journalism. If you couldn’t already tell from the post’s title, “Silhouette Suite” is a music masterpiece that gives you an array of instrumental sounds and vocal pitches. There is no musical angle this album does not cover. So take our advice, put down those auto-tune dominated CDs and play the authentic music of Scuderi.
by Lonnie Nemiroff