STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 166998-25921 LABEL: Traaxx Music FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
It seems that reviewers of Toronto-based singer/songwriter Duane Forrest's work have almost unanimously acknowledged a similarity to Jack Johnson and, whilst his voice and laid-back acoustic guitar are definitely reminiscent of that particular surfer-cum-musician, there is more than enough diversity and innovation on this release to allow Forrest to stand out in his own right. Forrest's time spent in a variety of countries including Honduras, Puerto Rico and Mexico plus his Jamaican heritage have given his music a mellow feel that straddles the boundaries between bossa nova, calypso and reggae to great effect and there is a refreshing feel of optimism created by the man's vocal delivery, poetic lyrics and the aforementioned breezy styles of music - not least in the opener "Edge Of Sea" and the wistful song of escape "Peace Of Cake". This general feeling of positivity is continued in the likes of the upbeat "Oceans" which also showcases Forrest's skills as rhythmic lyricist although lines like "I'm not like them other guys/Not trying to get between your thighs" in the well-meaning "1 Night Stand" perhaps should have been left on the cutting room floor. Forrest's faith is referenced in "The Walk" - a delightful slice of reggae that tells of God's faithfulness - whilst the Lord's Prayer is weaved throughout "Warrior 1". Showcasing Forrest's innate skill at offering up something strikingly unique and thought-provoking, the incredible "End Of The World" sees the singer continue with the overriding sanguine theme of the album but juxtaposed against a backdrop of war zones and the threat of bombing to create something truly breathtaking.
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