Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rain Before The Storm Review

If there's one thing that I can say about former InMe guitarist Ben Konstantinovic, it's that he is unique. On his debut EP, Rain Before The Storm, he uses a technique known as lap-tapping. For those unfamiliar with this method, it is simply this: He sits with his guitar, whether it be acoustic or electric, across his lap and uses quick finger taps against the strings to make a unique listening experience. Sounds simple enough, but when listened to, it's clear that it takes skill and accuracy to create the multi-layered experience that comes with Rain Before The Storm. There are no lyrics, no other instruments, just one man and his guitar, which injects each song with a very personal touch. For those who appreciate a nice night drive, this record is definitely catered to you.

Beginning with the title track, the interesting and immense atmosphere that remains present throughout most of the EP is immediately apparent. The swift, perfectly executed finger taps keep you engaged and interested in what comes next, and it's never the same. Each song feels like a distinct story flowing right from the fingers of Konstantinovic, and for me, I noticed a definite mood for each track. For the title track: A triumph, success over a personal demon. Thoughts of You: A yearning for another and an overall relationship-inspired feel. The Journey: Just that, an adventure and that youthful feeling of journeying out and discovering. Requiem: A fitful conclusion, an end to something important and substantial. Perhaps that's what is most engaging about Rain Before The Storm, the feelings that each person can perceive differently from each song.

As mentioned, nearly every track holds a special uniqueness and sincerity that is seldom felt from modern music. However, the one track that didn't really engage my mind was Thoughts of You, where it felt just a little too much like what you would hear in an elevator, or during the credits of a soap opera. Not to say that it isn't a quality song, it just doesn't hold the same imagination-capturing atmosphere of the three other tracks which tend to overshadow upon listening. Take any of the other songs into a normal situation, whether it be driving, jogging, or simply staring at the ceiling at night, and you're guaranteed to have a relaxed, thought-provoking experience courtesy of Ben Konstantinovic.

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