Root - Resolution - 2003
“Dedicated to those we have lost - reminding us to make our life mean something”
Root is the artist name for David Kendall. As on his previous three albums on this (double) CD “Resolution” he is responsible for all compositions and plays all instruments. A very colorful booklet containing all the lyrics accompanies the CD-R.
CD 1 opens rather heavy and up tempo with full sounding guitar chords, bass and drums playing a more or less dark theme with an old fashioned synthesizer and guitar solo. After a few minutes a vocal part follows, with nice vocal harmonies, very much reminiscent of Crowded House. After this a nice instrumental break with synth/guitar solos follows. Then the song entitled “Jubal” (9:56) fades away with some piano play. This opening song however is not representative for the rest of this album. The second track “Equal” (8:58) is more in the style of what follows on the remainder of the album: relaxing, mid tempo, mostly lofty and accessible melodic symphonic rock songs, with synthesizer and guitar solos that are very much looking back to the seventies. It commences with a tranquil keyboard/piano sound with atmospheric organplay. Then again a good vocal part follows, with nice harmonies and an easy break with a flute intro followed by a guitar solo on top of atmospheric and orchestral keyboards, definitely reminding of Barclay James Harvest. The ghost of this band certainly is present on this album, although the musical pieces of work of David Kendall are more long-drawn-out and characterized by more (short) synthesizer and (long) guitar solos. These solos are, as already mentioned, obliviously inspired by the sound of the seventies. “Motherhood” (6:16) is a typical ballad piece with full orchestral keyboards and a nice melody. “Shine” (4:21) is a more dynamic song with again a pleasant theme. The three-part title track of the album “Resolution” (19:39) concludes cd 1. It sounds very much a like the previous songs, but has some instrumental breaks with quite a few diversified keyboard solos. Part III opens peacefully with some mellotron. After a nice theme where the vocal harmonies a well supported by orchestral keyboards, the song very slowly fades away with a guitar solo.
CD 2 starts of with an atmospheric piece entitled “Change” (7:42). Some church organ and synthesizer tunes introduce a rather intense guitar solo that breaks this song. “Falling” (7:13) has some nice synthesizer and organ solos. As on all songs the vocal harmonies are a pleasure to listen to. Apart form the synthesizer solos (in the style of ELP’s famous “Lucky Man”), “Welcome glow” (4:38) and “Honesty” (10:47) are again pieces that sound very much like Crowded House. When my CD was playing this last track I must confess that weariness struck me. I think I had heard enough oldfashioned and not very much adventurous synth and guitar solos for the past one and a half hour. Happily the more dynamic “Flying blind” (5:18) made this feeling disappear and I was able to make it to the last song “Need” (8:00), that added nothing to what I had heard up to then.
The overall sound of this album is quite retro and certainly not progressive. The rather catchy melodies are very much in the mood of Crowded House and the musical accompaniment remembers of Barclay James Harvest. The production of this album is satisfactory, although it all sounds rather packed together and not very transparent. Nevertheless this suits the overall atmosphere of the songs. If you like the bands mentioned with the additions of some longer instrumental parts, you will certainly enjoy David Kendall‘s Root.