This is the third in a series of Mariusz Duda’s solo project, Lunatic Soul. I have yet to hear the first two, but it is my understanding that Impressions is of a more ambient nature than those others or Duda’s work with Riverside. Lead vocalist for that band, he rarely sings on Impressions and when he does during the “Impression” suite, it’s just wordless oohing and aahing.
The first eight songs are all titled “Impression,” so what kind of an impression does it make? A good one. It is very easy and melodic, almost lazy in its deliberate rhythmic and soft nature. Didn’t this music used to be called new age? At times it reminds a little of Jean Michelle Jarre, sometimes of George Winston. These are two of the best in their field, so this is no easy comparison.
The CD begins with a song that would make good background for scenic driving in your car. It has a very electronic resonance, with a prominent guitar influenced by Ennio Morricone soundtracks. It stays in this electronic new-age style throughout the rest of the tracks, sometimes quieting down and sometimes turning up the energy slightly. It ebbs back and forth with a natural rhythm unexpected in music of this fashion, sometimes even bringing in World Beat or Celtic influences.
The last two songs are not named “Impression.” They are remixed songs from the first two albums. Much more songlike and less ambient, they impress me as well. “Summerland” is good, and adds a mid-period Tears For Fears feel to the other influences. “Gravestone Hill” has such wonderful World Beat influences, it reminds me of one of my favorite soundtracks, “The Emerald Forest.”
Although I don’t see myself going back to listen to this album over an over, it is good music to have on while driving a beautiful countryside or on Pacific Coast Highway along the beach. I’ll tell you this, it has opened my eyes to this side project of the Riverside Singer/Bassist and added Lunatic Soul’s first two recordings to my list of must haves.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on May 21st, 2012