The Ardents – Ardents “A”
Reviewed by: Lee Callaghan Evolution Music Press
November 28, 2021
Ardents “A” is a 12-track offering that brings together a diverse palette of musicians from around the world, to create an aesthetically pleasing vibe that is entertaining, yet challenging for the listener. This strong blend of jazz, blues, and soul melodies pushes through the traditional approach to popular musical themes while offering a smooth, relaxed, yet sultry tone. Placing a strong mezzo-soprano vocalist to carry the harmonies and we have a full-sounding showcase of talent that is hard to contain within the confines of a standard three-minute track. Each track offers unique melodic approaches as The Ardents approach each track as its own musical body while tying it together to keep a full-album cohesiveness.
The jazz piano and percussion on Someday sets the pace for a magnificent, down-tempo track that calms and entices a joyous response. As the string section enters the track, the feeling of vastness and spacious frequencies carry these overtones throughout the listening field with an expansive impression. Coupled with lyrical themes of self-healing, and preservation the call and response style vocals keep the groove and feel of this track throughout with a deliberate pace, almost heartbeat-like. It was the strings that complement the chorus section really caught my ear, as the collaborative efforts of these musicians really make a connection and keep this track very tight.
The highlight track, in my opinion, however, is Less Of You. The vocal talent being showcased on this track is absolutely breathtaking. The range our vocalist displays with her voice, carrying long notes in the upper register while adding the slightest trill gave me goosebumps as I was completely immersed in this experience. Less Of You is arranged with an almost lullaby feel, yet captures the classical impressions these musicians are clearly capable of.
The recapitulation phase of the track features an acoustic guitar chord progression which offers an almost percussive element to this soft-tempo song, which furthers the sonic capabilities of the vocals.
Although reviewing all 12 tracks of this album is outside the scope of this review, other stand-out tracks include; If A Day, Smile Brightly, and Waiting.
Ardents “A” is a brilliant collection of musical themes and concepts which this very talented group of players are able to explore with ease as each player complements and challenges the other to create magic not heard in some time.
Ardents “A” is a very- enjoyable offering that is produced and mixed at a highly professional and mature level, making each track worthy of commercial success on Pop, Adult Contemporary, and Soft Rock radio formats.
This is an album I am going to listen to multiple times as with each listen the subtle nuances of each performer offer something new with each consumption.