Jeff Bernstein – Requiem For The Flawed (Album Review)

Considering that Jeff Bernstein’s newly unleashed work is a certified Classical record, the listening experience is apt to be a pleasant surprise to initiated fans of the artist. Titled Requiem For The Flawed, and released on Monday, October 26, 2020, the 24-track album is Bernstein’s debut solo endeavor.

Looking back a little, hailing from Dunfermline, Scotland, Jeff Bernstein first found his musical niche in the ’80s Post-Punk/New Wave scene as the keyboardist of White China; a band which was behind the genre’s iconic 1985 single “Smiles & Jokes.” Albeit the short-lived band’s being New Wave-oriented, Bernstein has always been a fan of film scores and instrumental music, citing the likes of John Barry, Danny Elfman (of Oingo Boingo), and Ennio Morricone as primary influences. That said, Bernstein’s career has been an interesting one, going on to compose various orchestral soundtracks for film, television, and video games of all genres.

Composing and recording all the tracks and co-mixing them with Liam Saunders at Loopmaniac Studios, Bernstein’s Requiem For The Flawed is a delectable sonicscape of heavily orchestrated compositions that conjure filmic scenery, carnivalesque theaters, and the rustic Romantic era. Full of interesting moments, remarkable pieces include the sparse and haunting “Forgotten Saints,” the playful waltz “Requiem for the Flawed,” and the somber, Rachmaninoff-reminiscent, piano-led “The Sorrow Farm.”

Additionally, there is also the Glassworkian “Umbrella Man,” which will fit onto the soundtrack of a Fantasy Thriller film, the freakshow-theme “Cirque des Damnés,” the heartrending tragedy of “Gabriele’s Room,” and the majestic closer, “Two Stories High,” which smells of dusty pages of a classic Arthur Conan Doyle book.

Never too late to fulfill a youthful plan, Requiem For The Flawed is Bernstein’s long-time dream come true. If Post-Punk is not dead, then neither is Classical music! An exceptional debut album worth checking out, Cryptic Rock gives Requiem For The Flawed 4 out of 5 stars.

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