After one listen to Songs from the Silver Box, I can with confidence call Roger O'Donnell my favorite electronic music artist.
While O'Donnell's first album, The Truth In Me, was inspired by a speech he gave at the Sheffield International Film Festival about Moog a documentary based on the life of Robert Moog, who created the seminal electronic instrument that played only one note at a time and eventually changed the way music sounded Songs from the Silver Box takes influences from a haute couture fashion show in Paris for which O'Donnell composed and performed the music. Regardless of his muse's origins, the former Cure keyboardist has found a dynamic new musical outlet.
Like The Truth in Me, Songs from the Silver Box (amazingly) features only one instrument, the Moog Voyager, and O'Donnell makes it sound absolutely gorgeous. The album opens with a beautiful solo piano piece that by the midway point has added more sonic layers to give it a warm, jazzy and familiar feel. And while the 13 minutes of "Musique Pour Irakli" verge on New Age, you can dance to "Song (From the Silver Box)" a slight take on the album's title and fall under the spell of "Changing." Again, as with his first album, O'Donnell includes vocals on two tracks here: Erin Lang, who appeared on The Truth in Me, lends her sweet, breathy voice to the laid-back "Tiny Pieces of You," and Australian chanteuse Lenka injects sexiness into "In Your Hands Now," which floats on a dreamy Eighties-slash-techno vibe. Think Sadé meets Massive Attack.
In fact, experiencing this album is like listening to a dream. The music far surpasses anything resembling background listening and actually succeeds in breaking down the barriers between abstract and concrete, ambient electronica and lush pop.
1) The Prince of Time
3) In Your Hands Now
5) If you Were Alone
7) Tiny Pieces of You
9) Song (From the Silver Box)
10) Musique Pour Irakli