Always an experience worth sitting down for, or isolating oneself for a while. In this case, Juan Sánchez comes through with the full-length album; the accompaniment and extension of the breath-takingly beautiful Rebirth.
The all-familiar and emotional title-track starts things up, quickly enveloping you in the purity of that progression, that melody and these chords. The switch from the lower notes to the higher creates a structure not unlike that of mainstream songwriting – a trait that runs throughout Sánchez’ work, and helps him effectively bridge the gap between instrumental, neo-classical music, and the broader audiences of pop.
Beto is equally familiar, unforgettable in fact – even after a fair amount of time. Another quality unique to this composer and artist. With this longer playlist, you really start to fall under the spell of the style and the emotions that pour through. Juan has a way with creativity that truly stands out as his own – a difficult thing to accomplish for most, particularly when utilizing only a couple of instruments.
Heading To Dreamland again hits as powerfully recognisable with its gorgeously delicate passion. Then we get the lifted pace of Peaceful Places, those quick-to-calm fingers creating a wave of energy that crashes over you then softly draws back out to sea. Contrast is utilized to a stunning degree throughout this playlist, making it far more of an experience than a simple gathering of songs or compositions.
Beautiful Rose (Solo Piano) injects a level of warmth and optimism that’s really noticeable at this point. Even with the solo instrument, there’s always a fullness to the sound, and an intentional and captivating sense of evolution.
Next you get the space and quiet intensity of All Of Us, a piece that provokes a certain way of thinking – the title and the subtle embrace of the music allowing you time to consider togetherness, the inevitabilities of life; the things we all share.
Towards the end of the album, Arctic Solitude is something of a highlight. There’s a certain brightness and immediate beauty to the way the strings and the keys intertwine for this journey through rising and falling moments of melody. The title adds a level of crisp, clean air – a freshness that allows the music to breathe life and calm into the room. This particular balance of elements is immensely powerful, proving to be truly uplifting, invigorating, when you turn it up loud and let it rain down around you.
Incidentally, the second version of Beautiful Rose sees strings introduced, and this simple addition creates a powerful wave of detail and unity that furthers the blissful embrace of Arctic Solitude.
Things come to a rather striking finish, with the harder hit of the keys and the melancholic sense of falling or fading that is Silent Tears. The quicker chord progression, the fingers fingers hitting the chord as one, contrasts really interestingly with the smooth wave of melody on the other side. This feels like an intimate end to the journey, a quiet and gentle performance, right there in the room with you.
The places your mind can wander, the changes in emotion and thought, that come about when you allow the music of Juan Sánchez to play for an extended amount of time such as this, are unlike anything else you’re likely to find right now. It’s music for the self, but it’s also music to be shared, and that very juxtaposition is a big part of what makes it connect so profoundly.
Stunning. A genuinely mighty and special collection of original compositions.