The Funeral March (Independent)
When a CD comes with a press release describing it as “a collection of songs based on the emotional stages of grief”, you know it’s not going to be the sort of thing you’ll want to throw on at your next dinner party. Well, you might, but only if your goal is to see your guests assume the fetal position under the table and weep inconsolably.
Yes, thematically, The Funeral March is a downer, with songs peopled by riven souls, burdened by guilt and shouldering disappointment. Clouds of Analog’s singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Robin Younge, stays true to his chosen theme. The last stage of grief, according to the Kübler-Ross model, is acceptance, and Younge closes the disc with “Wrong”, the final line of which is a wearily resigned “There’s something wrong with me.”
So it’s not exactly sunshine and lollipops, but The Funeral March feels genuine, and it’s a beautifully rendered roller coaster of emotions. Younge has a lovely voice, and he uses it to convey weighty feelings without losing sight of the melody. He has surrounded himself by seriously talented people, including keyboardist Camille Fournier, bassist Joseph Henderson McCance, and—especially impressive—drummer Chris Warunki. Whether it’s on a guitar-seared rocker like “Lightning” or the string-gilded weeper “When I Was Young”, they help Younge deliver his songs in ways that boost their power while avoiding the soporific.
Even so, this wouldn’t make ideal background music for a marathon Twister session.