Back You are here: Home Reviews Album Review: Bernard Fanning "Departures"

Album Review: Bernard Fanning "Departures"

This tiny rock called Earth that we inhabit is becoming increasingly louder whether we like it or not. Looking at the evolution of popular music over the last 50 years, we can see that our music preferences are becoming rowdier and more complicated then ever before.

One look at the intricate rhythms and complex synchronization of instruments within “dub step” music only reinforces this fact.  At this rate it looks like our grandchildren will be enjoying their own musical genre called “loud and heavy,” a type of music consisting of only power drills and chainsaws as instruments. 

So amongst the racket of today’s music, Bernard Fanning’s newest album, “Departures,” is a rather welcome change of pace. More than 12 years since the success of Fanning’s debut solo project “Tea & Sympathy,” the Brisbane born singer/songwriter is back with another inspired collection of alternative rock music. 

Consisting of an array of musical instruments including electric guitars, synthesizers, drums, organs and piano, the album distances itself from its predecessor by moving away from the slower and somber elements found in “Tea & Sympathy,” and instead lends itself to a more contemporary style by incorporating a number of upbeat tempo’s and rhythms. 

“Tell Me How it Ends” opens with a suspenseful electric keyboard noise that may convince the listener that they are hearing the soundtrack of a Sci-Fi movie. However this illusion quickly dissipates when the noise is replaced by the upbeat rhythms of drums and the edgy electronic guitar licks that we have all come to know and expect from Fanning’s music. 

“Limbo Stick” continues in this similar quickened tempo thanks to the edgy bongo rhythm present throughout the verse. In this track Fanning’s voice flows effortlessly above numerous backing singers. 

However just as the audience starts to get comfortable in this lively genre Bernard goes and changes the mood with “Grow Around You.”

Beginning with an eerily beautiful guitar melody and a subtle hint of synthesizer, the song progressively transforms into a stripped back version of an 80’s love ballad.

What allows this album to stand apart from others in its genre has to be inclusion of unexpected musical elements. Both “Zero Sum Game and “Here Comes the Sadist” include funkadelic bass lines that complement the progressive nature of this music. 

Another innovative feature is the addition of a “honky tonk” organ that offsets the familiar connotations of Fanning’s music. This enables the listener to stop focusing on the familiar sounds of the music and instead forces then to become focused with something new and different.  This organ sound is found in a number of tracks within the new album but it most notable in “Here Comes the Sadist” which features a mind blowing organ solo that is sure to grab the attention of any listener. 

Departures” is an unquestionably welcome addition to Fanning’s already impressive body of works. The composition of these tracks has a strong emphasis on using an organic blend of sounds to create a musical style that is rarely produced today. It is an intensely moving album, which will resonate within many people due to its universal themes of nostalgia, memories and loss.

“Departures” goes on sale June 7th.

Related Articles

Our Community

  • Facebook
  • instagram
  • Twitter
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Google+

Contact Us

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.