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Andrew L. Lucas – im/Perfection


im/Perfection was released on the 31st of August 2021: the album consists of 10 songs, each with “a unique sound, a unique story, a unique life,” as the artist puts it. Andrew L. Lucas has been playing for thirteen years and is currently a student at the Berklee College of Music. It may be due to his excellent guitar riffs, the variety of instrumentation, or the way he establishes the atmosphere successfully in each song that makes the album so successful, but we advise you to listen and decide for yourself.

Ironically, im/Perfection has almost no imperfections.

im/Perfection (1:29)

The album opens with this short title track: it’s an instrumental song that slowly fades in, made up of soft guitar layers and occasional melodies from the flute. It connects nicely to the second song which has similar sounds coming from the guitar, preparing the audience for what is to come.

Home Away From Home (4:28)

The second song starts off with two guitar riffs layered on top of each other–the more prominent layer carries a faint resemblance to Radiohead’s “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi”, that is, until the riff changes near the one minute mark. With this change enters the vocals: they are pushed to the back by the guitar riffs. This seems to be a purposeful decision, and it adds to the overall atmosphere of the song. The guitar riff continues on in the background while another electric guitar and bass is added to the song, and as all of these instruments play simultaneously, they create a tension that is released near the end of the song, creating a satisfying experience overall.

The Lone Frontierman (4:54)

“The Lone Frontierman” is definitely heavier than the songs than the songs that preceded it: a distorted electric guitar immediately starts the song as the drums kick in. The shift into an acoustic guitar and vocal combo gives the song the 70s rock scene vibe, which is highlighted even more by the beautiful solo on the third minute. Although there are fewer prog elements in the song, it definitely adds to the variety of the album.

Night Don’t Come (4:46)

The math/emo rock influence can be felt in the fast riff that takes place during the first thirty seconds of the song. The sudden shift to a soft acoustic guitar part accompanied by the electric piano throws the audience off, and the same shift between a rapid math/emo rock riff and soft section continues throughout the song. The vocals are highlighted even more during the fourth song as the artist goes to higher pitches, even if it’s sometimes a bit unnecessary for him to do so. The electric guitar solo, followed by the keyboard, keeps the song interesting, and create another original song in the album.

Sun Themes (5:04)

Starting off with a 4/4 drum beat accompanied by a repeating guitar riff, “Sun Themes”s first part is similar in tone to the song before it. A high-quality electric guitar solo enters on the second minute, fading out to transition to the second part of the song. The guitar is in the spotlight especially in this song, highlighted by the various shred licks, arpeggios, and the harmony created with a second guitar. The second part is more melancholic but consistent with the first part of this instrumental song. It builds up with the addition of the synthesizer, crash cymbal, and repeating electric guitar riff, and ends by fading out again to leave the listener with a calm feeling.

PPE (4:24)

“PPE” starts off with a powerful, dynamic overdriven guitar riff, and is then joined by a lead guitar that plays complex and fast licks. Then an arpeggiated guitar respite enters, joined by a clean guitar that solos over the arpeggio. The song then reverts back to the initial riff and lead guitar combo before ending. The song is chaotic, vibrant, and fills the listener with energy. A specific aspect of the track that comes to the forefront is the guitar tone. Both the overdriven and clean sections have crisp and fulfilling guitar tones, which is the cherry on top.

Knotted Light (3:11)

The track begins with an effect-heavy, complex arpeggiated guitar part. The soft and dreamy vocals are then introduced, which are the meat and potatoes of the song. Under the vocals and the arpeggiated guitar, the lead guitar plays complicated licks, adding texture to the tack. The song finally fades out after a short instrumental break. This track is definitely a masterpiece with the beautiful, transcendent vocals and the intricate guitar parts.

The Terrible Tribulations of the Elves in the Forest (6:10)

The track starts off with water sounds, which set up the ambient and calming atmosphere for the arpeggiated instruments that follow. The song does not have much of a structure until the drums are introduced halfway through alongside a slide guitar sound that has soothing vibes. Later, the song chaotically breaks down, with the introduction of complex guitar soloing and riffs. This part creates discomfort in the listener, in contrast to the calm atmosphere of the track. The song ends with eerie laughter, which is fitting after the breakdown section.

Earthquaked (4:02)

“Earthquaked” opens with a fast and simple metal-esque guitar riff. On the riff, there are guitar phrases that repeat, establishing a repetition that serves as the narrative of the instrumental track. The guitar technique is very precise and smooth, allowing the lead guitar to create powerful licks and solos continuing throughout the song. The licks can become a bit repetitive at times, though.

Perfection (2:01)

The final track opens with an acoustic intro accompanied by a wailing guitar solo that basically is the same throughout the two minutes of the song. However, this static song structure makes sense as a resting point, since the track is the final track. The track, and thus the album, ends with harmonics, which is a nice and tasteful addition.

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