Jeff Bernstein – Requiem For The Flawed (Album Review)

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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aLfie vera mella
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Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He started writing album reviews for Cryptic Rock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf?; in 2021, his first book of poetry, Pag-íhip sa Dáhon ng Kahápon [Blowing Leaves of Yesterday]. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. aLfie is a dedicated father to his now 13-year-old son, Evawwen; and a loving husband to Kathryn Mella, who herself moonlights also as a writer aside from holding a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in Sociology.

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