Music House Review
Roddan has dropped a stunning solo album. Showing himself to be one of the better songwriters in the business nowadays. Not that he is the master of writing pop tunes destined for the Top 40 or some iTunes list.
No, that’s not what his music is all about. Instead, Roddan writes some of the deepest, most gut-wrenching, heart-stopping, memorable, beautiful, and joyous music you will ever hear. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and on this deeply personal album in places, he especially bares his soul. You can hear it in his plaintive voice, and in the powerful lyrical content.
That said, the emotional power of this album is just off the charts. Maybe it won’t rock your world, though there a couple of songs to do that too, but that’s not really what this album is intended to do. If you sit down and listen, really listen, especially to songs like “Cross To Bear”, “Empty Miles”, “Far Away” and “Rain’s Coming Down”, from the first half of the album, and let the lyrics resonate you can’t help but be moved.
Few albums have hooked me on a first listen as this one has. Every song tells a poignant story and is accompanied by the perfect music for every word. Roddan is a serious poet and musician who, in simple, stark and melodic terms, can convey ideas in a way that is accessible to every listener.
In the first 6 songs of the album presents a great collection of tunes recorded with a very subtle, warm tone and rootsy feel. These are very honest, revealing songs that evoke and express considerable personal emotion and reflection. “I Can’t See” breaks into a full band sound, while “Let Love Be Found” (ft. Patricia Vonne), sees Roddan immersed in a duet.
“Same Conversation” is an upbeat live recording, and “Whiskey, Pill’s and Pain”, goes back to the more introspective singer-songwriter template, where I feel Roddan is at his best. That’s of course before he switches to the Southern rock sound of “Crossroad Dues”, finally closing down the album with the acoustic-driven “Reconciliation”.
Between the upbeat, full band songs and the contemplative, more stripped down ones, this is an album that will get under your skin and stay there. It will burrow it’s way in and dance around a little every time you listen to it and you’ll find a different favorite song every few times you play it.
That is, of course, until you realize that they are all favorites. “Music House” captures the gist of what I love the most about singer-songwriter music.
Apr 7, 2017
Roddan’s poetic lyricism works wonders on the passionate “Reconciliation”. Highly thoughtful the introspection and ruminations on life feel reminiscent of Mark Kozelek’s most recent work with Sun Kil Moon. Quite clever the stripped down intimate approach adds to the overall power of the sound. Instrumentally varied, Roddan takes care in adding to the overall richness, with the accordion adding an additional expressiveness. Easily the heart comes from Roddan’s earnest and honest vocals, which reflect upon the way that life can unfold. Infinitely catchy the song and its message lingers in the mind long after it is over. Little flourishes come from the other vocalist whose efforts further punctuate the potency of the piece.
Not a moment is wasted as Roddan gets into a comforting, soothing groove. The wonderful way the accordion introduces the piece adds to the richness. Guitar work is deceptively simple: within that singular strong strum a great deal of emotion is imbued deep within it. By opting for this style, the many layers of sound come together into a brilliant blur of sound. Roddan’s voice guides the song forward, as the thoughtful lyricism further emphasizes what kind of joy can come from making good with others. Quieter moments within the song add to the view of the story that unfolds over the course of the track, of the happiness that comes with the acceptance of oneself.
With “Reconciliation” Roddan sings with the utmost of joy as the message is one that reflects upon the peace that reconciliation can bring.
Mar 22, 2017
Roddan is a driven, passionate and charismatic artist from Seattle. His music strikes for a truly unique approach to his blend of country and rock. Roddan’s hometown is no stranger to quality music: this is the city that gave birth to artists as innovative as Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix or The Sonics, and Roddan’’s work definitely stands as a proof that the local music scene is still alive and well.
His recent single, Bitter Pill, is an earnest, introspective and emotional track that blurs the lines between genres as diverse as rock, country and pop with an elegant and understated production. One of the most striking and distinctive features of the song is definitely the beautiful melodic patterns of the strings, with an amazing fiddle riff making for a very uplifting introduction. The beat is basic, yet driven, and sustain, adding a spark to the song. Ultimately, Roddan’s vocals sit in the mix really well, showcasing a warm, yet bright tone with honest lyrics.
The song is featured within Roddan’s recent studio effort, “Music House”. Find out more and stream!
Mar 22, 2017
Embodying the best of folk is Roddan’s straight from the heart delivery on “Music House”. Besides folk, elements of country, southern rock, the blues and classical help to create a rich vibrant sound. Right at the center of it all are Roddan’s careful, articulate lyrics that express the joys and tragedies that come in life. Vocals are pure, pristine, and delivered with the utmost of passion. The careful arrangements feel reminiscent at times of Lambchop’s luxurious, intricate pieces. Unlike that group, Roddan goes for an even more eclectic sound letting a variety of instruments that go far beyond the usual folk trappings. Exploration of texture is done with true finesse for Roddan is one who ensures that experimentation and memorability work hand in hand.
“Cross To Bear” opens the album on a high note, with glistening organ and rollicking rhythms. His vocals hint at a bluesy quality as a song of hope for the downtrodden. Patricia Vonne adds to the overall loveliness of “Bitter Pill”. Featuring incredible soloing, the whole of “Bitter Pill” is delivered with great power. Stripping things down to the essentials is the raw intimacy of “Far Away”. Deeply comforting is the dreamy-eyed work of “I Can’t See”. Easily the highlight of the album is the ambitious work of “Same Conversation” whose meditative instrumentation only adds to its sense of otherworldliness. Hard rock defines the fantastic “Crossroad Dues”. Serving as a thoughtful end to the album is the graceful “Reconciliation”.
Quite satisfying in scope, Roddan creates an entire aural universe on the spacious “Music House”.