April 8, 2019 Bruce Hornsby – Absolute Zero (Album Review)
At the youthful age of 64, Bruce Hornsby is a multiple time Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter who continues to thrive as one of the greatest artists to ever compose music. One of the most recognizable voices, Hornsby’s talent for penning music that is moving, poignant, and irresistibly heartfelt has captivated listeners and live audiences for decades.
Selling over eleven million albums, Hornsby is a brilliant piano man with the Midas touch any time he chooses to fuse together the most quintessential elements of Jazz, Motown, Blues, Gospel, Rock, and Folk. Naturally, this native of Williamsburg, Virginia was born to write not just music, but music that is special. Fans from all walks of life can appreciate the quality of Hornsby’s music. As a collaborator, Hornsby is highly regarded by his peers, having performed on countless releases for artists like Bob Dylan, Don Henley, and the Grateful Dead to name a few.
Following up his acclaimed 2016 LP, Rehab Reunion, Hornsby will release his brand new album, Absolute Zero, on Friday, April 12, 2019 via Zappo Productions. Never lacking creativity, Hornsby is offering his twenty-first overall LP highlighted by ten fresh tracks of Jazzy city vibes. Giving Absolute Zero something even more appetizing, Hornsby is joined by some very special guests from the Indie, Jazz, and Folk world, Justin Vernon and Sean Carey of Bon Iver, Jack DeJohnette, Blake Mills, yMusic, The Staves, and Brad Cook.
Welcoming Absolute Zero, loyal listeners of Hornsby’s music will be elated with the opening title track, “Absolute Zero.” A dreamy tune, this song gives off a relaxed feeling of floating in orbit. Next, “Fractals” pieces together a nice metaphor to the many complicated dimensions of love. One of the more compelling songs on Absolute Zero, “Cast Off” delivers soft and deeply emotive piano portraying the woe of being used and abused.
A quiet piece, the hovering sounds of “Meds” usher in a very homely and warm feeling brought on by “Never in This House” and a beautifully calm orchestral arrangement. As the first single, “Voyager One” is a fun, happy tune perhaps about taking the time to care more for how we treat each other. Slow and steady, the Folky “Echolocation” is followed by “The Blinding Light of Dreams” where Hornsby ponders the thought of other people’s nightmares. Working well with the messages of the two previous tracks, “White Noise” is a melancholy view at living a boring and mundane life. Bringing Absolute Zero home, “Take You There (Misty)” will have listeners visualizing a walk on the beach at sunset as Hornsby sings of following your lover’s heart.
Always a delight to listen to, with Absolute Zero, Hornsby once again produces new material that is airy, live, and just makes you feel as if you are breathing in a cool Autumn day. What longtime fans can expect from Absolute Zero are compelling portraits of happiness and sadness surrounded by an array of Jazz and Folk textures. A master at his craft, for well over thirty years Hornsby always finds those essential notes for capturing the listener’s soul while telling a vivid message about life, and the songs of Absolute Zero are no exception. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives Absolute Zero 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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