Multi-instrumentalist Christiaan Bruin or as he’s known on this album as Chris released a second album entitled Making Sense via Progress Records in 2010.Christiaan is also a part of a new band called Sky Architect. Musically Christiaan is firmly rooted in a neo-prog with an indie twist. The influences I hear overall is The Beatles, Genesis, Spock’s Beard, and similar bands.
Opening the album is “Resemblance” (3:01) which could be considered like a ‘prolog’ to an amazing journey that the listener is about to embark on. You hear hints of what’s to come on the rest of the album.
Next up is “Waking From A Dream” (10:26), the first epic of the album and reminds me of a mixture of Spock’s Beard and The Beatles. The music is so beautiful., that it sounds like there’s a full band rather than one person. This is one of the highlights of the album. On this track, Chris’ vocals remind me of how Paul McCartney approaches singing, there’s both a soft and a rough sound in his vocals. I think that Chris shows us here what he’s made of.
Following the epic is a shorter piece called “To Fly” (5:25) which fully shows he Beatles influence right from the start including the trippy vocal effect in the beginning. This is one of my favorites of the shorter pieces on the album. In a perfect world, this could easily be one of the hit singles.
Next up is the title track, “Making Sense” (7:10). Again you can hear The Beatles influence mixed in with Kevin Gilbert (mostly from The Shaming Of The True album) and Spock‘s Beard (circa Day For Night). Here we have a song that has the best of two worlds, accessible and complex. This is another of my personal favorites of this album.
Next up is the album‘s longest epic, “Fantasy” (11:49). This is a classic prog meets indie rock song. There’s qualities of both genres, equally making this song one of the best epics I’ve heard this year alone. Chris’ vocals here, sort of reminds me of Joey Eppard (of Three) and a younger sounding Neal Morse.
On “Sky Castles” (3:12), Chris takes it down a few notches to produce a beautiful ballad. The primary instrument are the keyboards, piano and synths, which accompany very passionate vocals.
“Shades” (6:10) opens with a very somber vibe that segues into a lovely prog/pop combination. Chris does that Paul McCartney vocal style as I mentioned in a previous paragraph. He also incorporates that distorted vocals that is famous in the music of Spock’s Beard, around the three minute mark. This is one of the more mellow sounding songs on the album. I’d add this to one of my personal favorites of the album.
Next up is “Eve Of Destiny” (9:28), which is one of the longer songs on the album. Not quite in epic territory though but a wonderful display of ideas. Around the 4 minute mark there‘s an homage of sorts to the Latin moment in Spock‘s Beard song. This song is also very close in many ways to the Neal Morse era Spock’s Beard sound. “The Light“.
Now we have the second shortest song on the album, “Wishful Thinking” (3:23). I noticed that there’s a strong influence of The Beatles on this song. It segues seamlessly into “The Final Hour” (9:52), which ends this amazing album perfectly. Towards the end of the song, you could easily see end credits rolling. Chris has a talent for making music in an cinematic way.
Making Sense is one of the better albums to have been released in 2010. While not totally original, it does have a lot of shinning moments. Plus I strongly feel the best things are yet to come for Chris. I predict that Chris will become a household name within the progressive rock community within the next decade. This is a highly recommended release of 2010 especially for fans on prog/pop and the aforementioned bands!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on December 11th, 2010