Album Review: The Shift by Acorn Project
By: Juan Barragan
Acorn Project has just released their newest album, Shift. Just by looking and reading the text on the inside cover of the album, you can tell that this band is unique. They acknowledge that their music is derived from a diverse range of influences. They set the mood of the album by mentioning that, “Civilization is in dire need of a creative and sustainable revolution.” They claim that love is the way to get there. Having read this, the listener is prepared to listen to the album.
The first track, “The Shift,” features a sample from, “David Lake on Consciousness,” where the listener is warned that without a shift in consciousness, nothing can change. The vocals from the band then come in to inform the listener to, “Get ready, because the shift just started happening.” This track has a neo-world vibe to it, giving the listener a sense that change is coming with the electronic effects and the repetition of the main line in the song.
“Eyes Open,” is the next track, and it features an introduction with electronic effects that go well with the saxophone that fades into the song. The feel of the song is reminiscent of songs by Foreigner, especially with the tone of the saxophone and the reverb that accompanies it. This track, as listeners will find with the rest of the album, has a particular 80’s sound to it. The next song, “Off The Cuff,” goes well with the 80’s feel established in the previous song, and even has a funky bass line to go along with it.
After this section of the album, there is an interlude that is smooth and upbeat, possibly indicating a shift in sound for the next section. The very next track is, “The Difference,” and this song is bound to be one of the band’s best songs on the album. It starts off with an 80’s pop rhythm drum section, except the verse is laced with a guitar lick that seems to have a Joe Satriani influence to it. The verse and chorus are extremely catchy, as this track is the first of the album to have this feel. The end of the song features a well-executed saxophone solo that leaves listeners wanting to hear more when the song ends.
“Lucidity,” is the track that comes next and the guitar work, along with the electronic effects and the samples, shifts the vibe of the album to a more modern feel. The guitar work on this track is especially captivating given that the guitar solo goes on for quite some time, all the while still maintaining originality and innovativeness.
The rest of the album follows the turn of the vibe after the first interlude. It features great saxophone solos, especially in “Problems,” and “Disrespect Me.” “Home’s In Sight,” even has a little bit of a Latin influence to it.
Overall, Acorn Project does a great job at creating an interesting work of musical art. They implemented their samples in appropriate places and these went well with the music being played alongside them. These samples were one of the main contributing factors in maintaining the album’s mood that was set at the beginning of the album of creating a positive cultural shift. The speeches in these samples have a particular persuasive and authoritative feel to them that makes listeners curious and interested in what the samples have to say. The album is definitely worth listening to because the innovation is there, and there is not a single band out there that has music similar to this.