Sound — 8
"Elevate" is a debute album of Southern California based band Intangible. The record was self-produced by the band's frontman Justin Wright and showcases eleven radio-friendly compositions performed in soft and soaring rock key. With "Elevate" you can feel what does that mean -- the music without dictatorship of mainstream press, which make everything monotonous. What makes this album so easy listening, is the fact that Justin Wright, being a son of rock pioneer and keyboardist of Dreamweaver Gary Wright, rose in the company of musicians like George Harrison, Peter Frampton, Stephen Stills and many others. The music was Justin's another parent, so he really knows how to do his best. "Elevate" comprised of songs that Wright composed during three year period and as he said, "It was a great time, I honed my writing and learned to use computer recording software. There was nobody telling me what to do. It was the sort of creative atmosphere every artist dreams about." As a result we have a quite peculiar record with its own unequalled charm. Another fact which makes "Elevate" so easy listening is that all the arrangements are performed with semi-acoustic or slightly distorted guitars, almost subtle at times bass and measured drum rhythms, it's very easy listening. They create fluent aureole around Wright's vocal parts which plays a dominant role on all tracks. The above statement is true from very first listening to the opening track "Lean." If this song is mostly arranged with distorted sounds, following "Blame" -- one of the first songs which Justin Wright has recorded in 1999 -- is the acoustic rock ballad with clean electric guitar fingering at the background. Third track "Anything Real" is one of the classic rock influenced songs here, as well as next songs "Release" and "Brown." All of them have a traditional rock sounding, adapted to the present and Wright's originality. Such tracks as "Search" and "Hollow" with their calmness and dreaminess represent the folk side of Wright's character. I should also draw your attention to eight track "Resolve" which illustrates how amazingly Justin's voice harmonizes with single guitar. No doubt, with "Elevate" Justin Wright and his band Intangible made praiseworthy debute effort.
Lyrics — 10
As I've said earlier, all the music accompaniments are concentrated around Wright's vocals -- it's a heart of the record. And now I have to say that the soul of these tracks are their lyrics. "In many ways, the lyrics on this record are about overcoming conflict. I think being positive is important... but I also believe in meaningful lyrics, because life is not always some big and happy place. I just try to say true to what I'm writing about and deal with all these emotions. That's why I called the album 'Elevate.' It's my way of saying, 'lift yourself from those situations. Rise above'," Justin says. For my turn, from a lyrical point of view I would call this album as Wright's autobiography. Being a child of music, he always tried to realize himself and his feelings through this culture, and this debute release is a perfect chance to do that. Among the huge amount of different living stories and situations described here you can find such themes as figurative hints about duplicity of politicians and American imperialism as a whole - on "Lean," or some spiritual motives as on "Those Around You" with its unambiguous "Do you believe in only those that are around you? Could you believe in something calling from within?" You may want to listen to the ballad "Blame" with its introspective content to feel in deep who Justin Wright is. And especial fascination of this lyrics is their delivery to the listener with impressive Wright's vocal, whose abilities stretches between melancholy and thoughtfulness of grunge influenced emotionality and hard rock regularity with addition of brit-pop insouciance.
Overall Impression — 8
The most difficult thing linked with this album is to define its genre. Intangible really has their own style which combines a sizeable range of influences from different music -- though they are not evident, thus making it hard to classify. This makes "Elevate" dissimilar to the whole bunch of artists playing in almost the same genre -- easy rock. Although this album is so radio-friendly and easy listening, I can hardly refer it to the "listening for everyone" class. With all its facility and non-intricacy of performance, "Elevate" possesses a great semantic load that, as I said before, is its main aim and focus. It's quite interesting will Wright and his bandmates keep going that way with their future releases... All in all, if you want to liberalize in a musical way I recommend you this album absolutely. Go buy it now!