Singer/Songwriter and California native Bristian Cale is “sounding off” with his latest release of the same name. Having reached out to us, we’re playing it forward, so to speak.
‘Sex Machines’ kicks off the record, blending atmospheric instrumentation with Cale’s higher end vocals, (reminiscent of Savage Garden’s Darren Hayes). About midway through there is a change of pace, offering variety that keeps it from becoming too predictable or one-note. It shifts into something of a ballad — opting for subtle acoustics and piano — all the while building up to its climax, a solid opener overall.
The albums title track ‘Sounding Off’ follows suit, continuing in the ballad-esque manner first introduced by its predecessor. This track is significantly stripped down, with only subtle piano and string arrangements accompanying an acoustic guitar. Cale showcases a vulnerability here that is both well served and executed.
The album progresses in a linear manner, straddling the line between the atmospheric and the experimental — with acoustic and electronic elements woven in. ‘Sounding Off’ has all the sensibility of modern pop, but with enough twists and turns musically to make it its own — mainstream enough to garner radio airplay, and quirky enough to set itself apart — all the while appealing to both. Bristian Cale is “sounding off,” and we are certainly listening.