The Operacycle


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Recording this album at the age of 21 from his home in Portland, OR, Jordan Hudson, aka the Operacycle, proved that he has plenty to prove. For his first full-length, Hudson and some cohorts constructed 13 songs that are all over the musical map and were recorded using an array of almost 30 different "instruments" ranging from drums and guitars to household appliances. Standout tracks including "This Is Part..." and the fittingly haunting "Funerals" are propelled by thumping beats, and some bizarre but oddly well-fitting samples. Even the Euphone-esque "SHS" has a recognizable but somewhat unique feel as it bounces along carelessly under a simple piano line. This record took over two years to put together, and the hard work is evident. While his more rocking compositions are appealing, it is the quieter numbers that feel uniquely personal and part of Hudson's vision. The opening pair of songs is particularly melancholy and introspective; including a flamenco-tinged piece and a moving acoustic guitar piece that conveys a frightful amount of heart. This is one of those records that are special enough to avoid being pigeonholed. All types of songwriting are pulled off expertly, though the lack of vocals on some of the softer tracks does leave a slightly empty feeling. Tacked on after the record's final track is an unfortunate electric guitar assault that lasts for about five minutes too long. Fortunately it's fairly easy to forget, a sharp contrast to the memorable songs that proceed the finale.

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