Listening to John Adorney’s new album “Invisible Songbird” feels like a celebration. It is now 20 years since the release of “Beckoning”, Adorney’s very successful debut. This year’s release is in many ways a culmination of his musical and creative abilities, delivering 14 highly memorable songs. “Invisible Songbird” is a fantastic addition to Adorney’s already strong discography.
Last year we saw the release of the themed album “Toward a Gentle Place”. It takes the listener on a journey, away from the stress of everyday life and into a state of positivity and rest. “Invisible Songbird” has a somewhat different perspective. This beautiful and enigmatic poem is included in the cover:
Invisible songbird, why do you sing?
No one is listening – the world is asleep.
In the heart of this deep, dark night,
your song echoes against the hidden trees
toward an audience of stars.
Invisible songbird, why do you sing?
There’s nothing in your song that
suggests you are lonely –
you sing so boldly!
Invisible songbird, I’ll soon be asleep,
so I wonder:
Does your song never end?
Artists are often asked; where does your creativity comes from? I guess it might feel like an invisible songbird, a well of tones and creative ideas you cannot stop – even when you are trying to sleep.
Drink the Water and Feed the Fire
“Drink the Water and Feed the Fire” is the album opener. It is an upbeat and positive song, with John’s trademark melodic elements and atmosphere. Daya’s vocal work is, as always, amazing. Old fans will feel right at home.
“Love Most Bright” is a jewel of a song, featuring a rendition of Bach’s “Jesu, joy of Man’s Desiring”. The arrangement, including cello, is spotless and filled with creative twists and turns. It is a very rewarding listen. Next track is “A Single Sort of Love”. It is a gentle flute and viola melody, showing just how versatile an artist John Adorney is.
True Feel-good music
One of the things I like the best about John’s music is his playfulness. It is never too serious. You can trust him to deliver songs that not only make you feel good – but also smile. “Joyful” is such a song. If you need to smile (who doesn’t?), put it on and you’ll see what I mean.
Then the album shifts gear. “The Vow” is a song with nice Eastern flavors and mystique. Here John is easily on par with Al Conti or Ricky Key. There are many layers of sound to appreciate. Then we are back in the States again with the Bluegrass inspired; “Welcome Home”. Fans of “Towards a Gentle Place” will for sure enjoy the next piece, “A Touch of Kindness”.
The next part of the album has a chilled vibe, with a touch of world music. “Windtrails On The Water”, “One Voice” and “Shadows and Light” show that John can take any type of music and redefine it into his artistic expression.
Given what I have just written, I don’t know if it is possible to talk about a song as a “typical John Adorney song” – but “Cascade” is just that. It is positive, upbeat and has a strong melodic focus – plus a few surprises underway. “Rest You Well” is a slow piano melody, fading beautifully into the piano opening on “Rags to Riches”. We are near the end, this song might very well be the best on the whole album; there’s so many levels of sound to appreciate. John is a master storyteller, and you never know where the narrative will end. Is this a sad song, or is it happy? You’ll keep on guessing until the very end. “The Persistence of Longing” is the album closer. It is a rhythmic piece with a friendly vibe, signing off the album on a positive note.
In conclusion: “Invisible Songbird” contains 14 beautifully crafted songs. There are no weak melodies, no fillers, for over an hour straight. That is a major accomplishment, even for an artist of John Adorney’s format. There is perhaps no new “If a Rose Could Speak” or “Dance of the Moon and Stats” here, which are John’s most popular songs, but asking for a smash hit on an album as good as this seems unfair and unproductive. “Invisible Songbird” is a true treat, and a worthy celebration of John’s music.
Let’s hope the invisible songbird keeps on singing for a long time!
Score: 96/100 – See how I rate music here