Saturday, April 2, 2016

Album Review: Adore by Joseph Sullinger

Adore is the sixth solo album from classical and world fusion guitarist Joseph Sullinger. He is joined throughout on various compositions by Hungarian violinist Adrienne Galfi (courtesy of the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra), as well as Eric Darken on percussion, and both Greg Morrow and Chris Mchugh on drums. Comprised of nine compositions spanning nearly thirty minutes total, Joseph additionally fuses his classically romantic and Spanish style guitar melodies with piano, bass and synthesizer elements.

The aptly-named “Mi Amor” opens with solo Spanish guitar, providing a warm introduction with a touch of romance. Adrienne Galfi’s violin joins the mood on “In the Evening”, as she further lends the piece a classical, graceful touch. This composition brings to mind an evening spent somewhere along the southern coast of Spain, with the guitar and violin each representing one half of a dancing pair. Following next is the title piece, “Adore”, one of my favorites on the album, which begins with a breezy synth that remains in accompaniment throughout. An organically flowing and rhythmic piece, Spanish guitar and wooden percussion lend a distinctive flamenco flavor to the composition. Also equally stunning is “Aurora”, which likewise opens with guitar and synth, followed by a leisurely-paced rhythm and sweeping violin. Characterized by a softly sensual melody and beautiful chord progressions, the piece reminds me of summertime, perhaps while taking a scenic drive along the coast. The contemplative “Solitude” is another favorite, possessing a lulling guitar melody and gentle rhythm that feels as peacefully subtle yet radiant as moonlight reflecting upon the water. Likewise especially notable is the mysterious “Caravan”, a piece that opens with the soothing sound of ocean waves. Sultry and slower-paced, the exotic melody of the guitar is further enhanced by sparsely-placed ethnic percussion and the earthy tones of bass. Closing out the album is “Farewell”, beginning with the natural environmental sounds of crashing waves which continue throughout the piece. Subtle guitar and piano are perfectly interwoven along its course, as one can easily imagine a ship departing at sea, perhaps while an onlooker reminiscently bids farewell.

Simply put, I absolutely ‘adored’ each and every moment of Adore, as these elegant compositions softly swept me away to the shores of a Mediterranean paradise. Joseph’s guitar-playing is sophisticated yet perfectly understated within the album’s overall down-to-earth and relaxing context, which is further enhanced by the many light brush strokes of additional colors and textures throughout. Alluringly romantic and beautiful, “Adore” will appeal greatly to those who are particularly fond of classical and Spanish-style guitar music as well as new age world fusion! ~Candice Michelle

For more information please visit the artist's website. This album is also available at CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes.

Review originally published on Journeyscapes Radio on 04/02/16.