A true artist cannot simply turn off his or her ability to create. It is just there, flowing like a river, with a mind of its own. In 2009, Marshall Styler was planning to take a break from music after a long and very successful career, both in rock and later in new age music, but the melodies just kept on coming – so he had to return to the studio. The result was the album Seven Falls. It is a collection of simply irresistible songs that make any moment memorable. Or, to quote Marshall Styler, Nothing is worth more than this day. Play Seven Falls and you will believe him.
The thing I find most interesting is how Marshall Styler paints a picture of nature in sound. I own a large collection of nature sounds CDs, but few of them give a better representation in sound of the human experience of nature – even though they are recordings of live nature sounds, like rain, waves or wind. Seven Falls is the musical equivalent of how a painting often can communicate feelings better than a photo. When you play Seven Falls you feel that you are one with nature, because the music is so visual, so heartfelt. You understand why Styler HAD to create this album.
I love keyboards and that warm, analogue sound that gave life to so much music in the 70s and ’80s. Today some might find that Marshall Styler’s instrumental music is too retro sounding, but to me it sounds fantastic. Styler’s understanding and love for the simple but elegant keyboard melody, to call it that, is just world class. He is a synth master, and his music reminds me of Edard Froesse’s solo material. You cannot become this good by just using a software synth. You’ll need a truckload of hardware synths.
Seven Falls was Marshall Styler’s seventh instrumental album. There is one song on this album that truly deserves to become a modern classic. It is the title song, Seven Falls, which surprisingly is track no. six on the album… That aside, it is a magnificent song. If it had been the sound track to a major film in the 80s, we would all be able to whistle it today. Believe me, you will fall in love with it at once. I was also deeply moved by the song The Locket. Here melancholy and positivity are mixed in an original way, filling the canvas with colors of all shades.
As a fan of Marshall Styler’s previous works (especially Bluefields from 1994, which is a very happy and positive album), I must say that I am thankful that he didn’t take the time off. Seven Falls is a truly enjoyable album.
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