CD: Until We Lose It
Review by Rhonda Readence
Mu-Theory is a five piece jazz/blues/rock band out of Melbourne, Australia. Tony Brewin on vocals and acoustic guitar is joined by Ian Rutherford on keyboards, Stuart Naylor on drums, Chris Birchall on lead guitar and Ivan Bader on bass. Their debut album Until We Lose It is a smooth and pleasing 9-song endeavor that will be sure to leave music aficionados smiling. With crystal clear production and engineering, exceptional musicianship and sound lyrical content, there is nothing lacking within this album.
Most tracks on Until We Lose It carry influences of the 70’s coupled nicely with Mu Jazz and dashes of rock. The album title track, which is also the lead in piece, is a good indication of what listeners can expect. A catchy rhythm and skilled instrumentation pave the way for the smooth vocals of Tony Brewin. Mu-Theory proves right off the bat that their skill as musicians is extraordinary, particularly with their flawless vocal harmonizing. “Praying For The Future” and “Don’t You Ever Say Goodbye” pick up the pace a bit, adding more of a rock flavor. The guitar work in the latter offering is worth making note of, as it is light and graceful and still able to bring elements of rock to an otherwise mellow piece.
Mu-Theory has a knack for their songwriting and offerings like “Cold Dark Night” and “New Place” are love songs with heartfelt and honest lyrics. “Cold Dark Night” is more uplifting and carries an essence of hope, whereas “New Place” tends to have an air of deep sadness to it amid the graceful acoustic guitar work. The electric guitar work is also done exceptionally well and this track is perhaps the most beautiful on the album. Showcasing the elegant keyboarding work of Ian Rutherford, “Lonely Life” is a thought provoking piece dealing with addiction and the darker side of human nature that highlights the strong songwriting skills of Mu-Theory.
Artistic creativity runs rampant in “Miracles,” a slow guitar-driven piece that is the very epitome of Mu-Theory music. Chris Birchall shows off his extraordinary skills with the six string, the rhythm section is tight, and each member of the band gets his chance to shine during the course of this epic masterpiece. If there is one song on the album that will be a fan favorite, this is surely it. “Ten A Penny” picks up the pace again and this track has elements of blues and rock intermingled with the classic sound of Mu-Theory jazz that we have come to know and love.
Until We Lose It closes with “Ode To Richie,” which is perhaps the jazziest piece on the album, and certainly the one with the most attitude. Mu-Theory has a wonderful knack for mixing elements of jazz, blues and rock into a smooth blend of original and unique music that is performed with abundant skill. Add to this the fact that the sound quality is phenomenal and the songwriting is strong, and you have winner all the way around. This album is a testament to the talent, creative diversity and artistic vision of Mu-Theory and listeners will not be disappointed.
Reviewed by Rhonda Readence
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)