Okay, let me explain before you start judging. Yes, this album was released in July, 2011…and no, I’m not lost in time.
I just felt like writing about albums I never had to chance to review. This blog is kinda new, so I might as well do some old stuff for fun.
Well, now that you won’t judge me, I can tell you about my dear buddy (not really), Felix Riebl.
If you haven’t listened to the Australian epic band The Cat Empire, you can go and read something else (STAY, DON’T GO AWAY). Riebl works as the percussionist and singer of the band, also having some piano skills. And it comes in handy when you’re writing a really introspective solo album.
Just so you don’t miss it, here’s the video to The Cat Empire’s latest single: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM_rIaUm7ac
Alrighty, here goes nothing…
Riebl’s solo work surely claims its distance from The Cat Empire’s wide and long catalogue. With intimate lyrics, subtle pianos and soft voices, Riebl makes his point very clear: “I’m an artist”.
At times, “Into The Rain” becomes weary (like Oren Lavie’s The Opposite Side of The Sea). You may want to stop listening to it halfway through, but there’s a special something that’ll keep you bound to it. In my opinion, it’s an effective and straightforward album, accompanied by a tornado of emotion and heartfelt poetry. I bet I wasn’t the only one who didn’t expect to see this genre coming out of him, because it’s just really different from what he’s always done.
“Wide Open Rivers” gently welcomes us. Sadly, it never becomes a completely loveable track. Nonetheless, it’s a creative riff and has good lyrics. “There” squeezes a little more out of Riebl’s limited vocal spectrum, showing strength and conviction in his speech.
“Worries I’ve Had” dims the lights. It’s a slow transformation and change of pace. Riebl’s ability to write cheesy love songs is clear and most of all…simple. “Don’t Fall Under” is brought down due to his low capacity to switch tones and octaves. Luckily for him, “I Won’t Know You Anymore” does the unexpected: too much with too little. A song can become a masterpiece if you keep an eye on EQ and details. Most times, a surprising crescendo will make any mind blow. This tune is a high spot for the album.
“Bones” never really convinced me. Though it’s not a shitty song, it doesn’t seem to fully fit. But hell, that’s just me. “We Go Out” follows the typical Riebl pattern, fast lyrics and a soft resemblance to The Cat Empire.
“Helen” and “I’m On Fire” -the latter being a Springsteen cover- go hand in hand (through their PARKLIFE. Sorry I had to). These two are by far my favourite tracks. An exceptional combo of intimacy and sorrow, with touches of lust and deceit. And I must add that this cover is the only spark of Springsteen I can stand, I utterly hate all the rest of his catalogue.
“They Don’t Know You Like I Do”. Hard to describe, though it’s the simplest song in the album. Sometimes the simplest facts are the hardest to explain. And you only need hope and a piano to write a beautiful love (which doesn’t always have to be cheerful).
And we finally reach the end, “My Shore”. This is the longest track, with over 7 minutes.
It’s definitely the strongest song musically and the best way he could’ve ended this record.
Riebl may be one the few who’ve proved to be worthy of a fruitful solo career. His fame in Australia sure lets him take his time to do what he does best: just being.
It’s been 3 years since its release and I honestly can’t wait for the sophomore record.
Totally worth it