Robert Bitte

Autumn Moon

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Many new age-oriented artists succeed by choosing either the all-acoustic piano path or delving fully into the synth realm. Bitte has a good time mixing the two, creating what could be called new age fusion with a whimsical jazz sensibility. The problem for the most part here is that while his grooves are usually strong and the vibe (whether atmospheric or more stark) interesting, he lacks the lush melodic sense that characterizes the best smooth jazz or new age artists. The title track has a meandering atmospheric haze behind a spacey synth melody that just keeps repeating. "Safe House" features a peppy rock piano harmony riff, but the synth electric guitar melody sounds too, well, synthetic, and there are too many repetitive drum fills. He keeps switching gears, which keeps listeners on their toes, but for what? His successful genre compatriots do best when building upon a single emotion or vibe. "Inner Peace" is moody and dark, somber and numbing. "Cybercat" follows with a chunky percussion base and then a halting experimental melody that fails to catch fire. "Why Wait?" sounds like it was composed on an old portable Casio keyboard. "Love Left Unsaid" is gloomy and stiff. To be fair, there are some good motifs and melodic ideas and some might appreciate the soulful bass rhythms of many tracks, even if they are completely electronic. But there's nothing cohesive to hold it together.

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