CD Review – David Minasian – Random Acts Of Beauty

David Minasian is an American film producer, screenwriter, director, and a musician, singer and songwriter, and may well be considered a polymath. He has worked on videos for the likes of Camel and Justin Hayward, besides creating his own music. This album was originally released in 2010 but has been remastered for re-release in 2020.

The album is very tasteful and well produced. It is certainly well played, and a quick glance at David’s instrumentation will show how broad his personal palette is.  For the most part, the music has a gentle almost dream-like quality although suffused with great momentum. Stylistically, the album is rather hard to place. It tends to be rather graceful and beautiful (there’s a hint in the title!), but it is certainly capable of soaring. The opening song, Masquerade, features Camel’s Andy Latimer where the music takes on the feel of that band whilst retaining its own image. (Indeed, it was the first studio recording in eight years by Latimer, at that time, following his recovery from a bone-marrow transplant). That happens when your guest is well known, one supposes. It is a good track though, well-constructed and thoughtful.

The album retains a pop element throughout, and there’s an emphasis on the melodic. It tends to the gentler side, similar to the Moody Blues in feel. The only real darkness on the release comes from an occasional surreal tone but it would be fair to say that it is a romantic, dreamy, emotionally powerful album. It is relaxed rather than challenging. The track Frozen in Time is interesting. It was apparently co-written with Justin Hayward. It is a nearly fifteen-minute instrumental that moves through a variety of styles, from soaring guitar solos to something more pastoral. There are acoustic guitar interludes too.

As you might expect from a release such as this, the production is excellent, the sound quite pristine. Whilst there are differences in style, the music of Alan Parsons Project comes to mind.

The album does though become uninspired from time to time. It is trying to be so much of a progressive rock album that it stalls a little and becomes rather prosaic. Many people have taken a similar approach before, and often done it rather better it must be said. There used to be a phrase that a particular album ‘bodes well for the future’. This release would fall into that category.

Minasian has a new album released in 2020 too, The Sound Of Dreams, which features Steve Hackett, Annie Haslam, Billy Sherwood and Justin Hayward amongst others.

1. Masquerade (12:32)

2. Chambermaid (8:53)

3. Storming the Castle (5:29)

4. Blue Rain (7:44)

5. Frozen in Time (14:37)

6. Summer’s End (8:00)

7. Dark Waters (5:12)

David Minasian / keyboards (grand piano, Mellotron, harpsichord, Moog, pipe organ, organ), cello, violin, oboe, flute, recorder, clarinet, French horn, cornet, dulcimer, sitar, acoustic 12-string guitar, classical guitar, bass, drums, percussion, voices, lead & harmony vocals

Justin Minasian / electric lead & rhythm guitars, acoustic & classical lead guitars (2-7)

With:

Guy Pettet / drums (3 & 5)

Don Ray Reyes Jr. / drums (5)

Nick Soto / electric rhythm guitar (2)

Special Guest:

Andrew Latimer / guitars, vocals (1)

http://www.davidminasian.com/

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