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Be Mine Tonight

Dean Roberts

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Album Review

Be Mine Tonight is easily the most unusual recording New Zealand guitarist Dean Roberts has ever made, and his first since 2000. Admittedly, this is saying a lot, but given that this is Roberts' first real foray into songwriting, the comment is warranted. Recorded in Bologna between December 2000 and December 2002, Roberts collaborated with Italian musicians such as composer/engineer Valerio Tricoli, guitarists Christian Alati and Giuseppe Ielasi, and drummer/percussionist Antonio Arrabbito. Roberts doesn't give up his own guitar chores and, as well as playing them, also participates on piano, bass, harmonium, glass harmonica, and percussion. There are only four tracks on Be Mine Tonight, each of them a song with words coming out of formal structure and syntax and re/un-made by the use of improvisation, wildly varying sonic architectures, genre shifts, and insertions of dynamic elements. As to what kind of music this is, the only word can be used is "good." All of the usual blah-blah-blahs about out-rock and folk and country and whatever don't even matter here. These are songs created for the purpose of making a song something that endures far beyond the terrain where its lyrics run out. Any element that would stretch the notion to its breaking point — though never beyond — was employed. Hence, this is the most intimate, tender, forward-thinking recording Roberts has ever made. Its modes of improvisation, deft use of space, and the illusion of time shifts is remarkable, as is Roberts' sense of reversed melody — a harmonic construction that gives the impression of melody when, in fact, none exists. Be Mine Tonight is a welcome return for Dean Roberts to the recording scene, but opens many doors and creates numerous possibilities in how one might view, write, and record "songs" in the present and future.

Customer Reviews

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This album is an amazing work of art and one of my favorite CD's to listen to when everything else is beginning to sound stale.

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