MSL ()

Reviewed by Steve Gilmore on (Friday, March 13, 2009) Rated 8.3 / 10
Category Rating
Track Structure 9
Interest 8
Melody 9
Performance 9
Lyrics 0
Enjoyment 8
Recording Quality 9
Commercial Appeal 6
Overall 8.3

Don't really get a lot of out and out classical music on this review beat.  I get to review great wodges of faux-classical stuff courtesy of any number of artists but straightforward music from dead white dudes, meh.   When I first met MP3 Unsigned's M S L, he was just starting a Music Major course in his native Florida but the music he was pumping out at the time was largely electronica and/or dance.  It was only when I reviewed The Thread Of Life (March 2006) that I realised that he was capable of such detailed, intricate music.  It wasn't the be all and end all of course but it was a fine start along the way.  Now he's two years into that course and  4 Variations on a Theme is his project for his music theory class.  To do well, they had to write (from a teacher chosen melody) 'a harmonization of the theme, and write 2 figural, 1 chromatic, and 1 character variation'  And you guys thought music lessons would be fun :)

Based, so MSL tells us, in the 'secondary theme of Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata Mvt. 1' this track was apparently completed over a weekend, which seems like a little short to me.  Now if you've ran away with the idea that I'm some kind of classical music buff, best think again.  Like the bulk of the worlds population, I like some bits but the majority of classical music leaves me as cold and stiff as the dead white dudes who wrote it,    However, I am a bit of a fan of ol' Ludwig Van, especially his piano pieces and 4 Variations on a Theme is an extended keyboard workout on a very recognisable peice of music that should please even the most philistine of ears - in other words, mine.

Because the whole track revolves around the central theme there isn't a lot that it can do, but its the way that MSL peices it all together that makes it work for me.  If I hadn't have known the story behind the track I would have thought it a nicely rendered, slow building classical peice that had both pacing and melodic content.  The transition from straightforward piano, piano and organ, piano and strings and the full monty of classical rock is almost seamless, allowing the track to build nicely; the orchestral ending leads you out beautifully and comes as a bit of a surprise.  Not sure how well MSL will do on his course with that but judging by the comments and my own reaction, the boy did good.

Lovely classical exercise.  Recommended.

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