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The one-man-band isn’t always what you picture. A touring one-man-band may have some interesting set-up that allows him or her to play drums, guitar, and more at the same time, while someone that independently does music from home generally just layers the different instruments through a music program on their computer. They play one instrument at a time. If they play out, they might have a band that goes on tour with them for live performance purposes only.
I always find myself intrigued by multi-instrumentalists. It takes a good deal of talent and drive to play multiple instruments and make songs with them all by yourself. Jeff Valput is the man behind the one-man-band that is Noise Ratio. He composes the music, plays all of the instruments, and sings. He’s also a self-taught musician.
Hailing from West Virginia, Noise Ratio is essentially uncategorizable, though you could call the music experimental alternative rock for adults. The themes of the music are things that adults can relate to. I’ll get a little more into that as we look at the individual songs. With musical comparisons to Adele, Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, Muse, and even U2, you can tell that this musician has a variety of sounds in his musical treasure chest.
“Freed Love” is the first of ten songs on Songs On Fire. There is a video for this one on Youtube. I love the graphics for this video. It reminds me of the construction paper art I did for my children’s books I used to have in print. The song has kind of a dark edge to it.
Watch the video for “Freed Love”
There is also a video for “Trial And Error,” the next song on the album. The graphics are somewhat similar on this one. I like that the videos have something different. They tell the story the songs are conveying, but you’re not watching actual people act things out – It makes them unique. This song is even darker than the last one. This is also one of the songs that makes this music for adults (you’ll understand when you give it a listen).
Watch the video for “Trial And Error”
“Keeping Silence” has some cool auto-tune on it that made me smile in the beginning. I like the uniqueness of this song and think that it has a synth-vibe to it. The dark piano within the song adds to the mystery of the tune. This is one of my favorite songs on this album because it seems so much different than the first two tracks.
“Cage Of Emotion” had a title that attracted me, so I thought I’d give that one a listen next. Much like all of the songs I’ve listened to so far, this song has a dark edge to it. I like that this talented artist blends all sorts of sounds and instruments in his songs.
“Blinding Love” is the final song on this album. The piano in this one is pretty cool too. I really enjoy the intros on these songs.
The lyrics in each of these songs stand out the most, with themes of life and struggle. The creative instrumentation behind them just makes them stand out all the more. Haunting is a good word to use to describe this album. Valput is a genius when it comes to putting together songs that really pull you in and make you think. There is so much feeling behind each song and the lyrics to each of them.
This isn’t going to be an album for everyone. If you like experimental, dark, and emotional music then you’re likely to enjoy all of the sounds on this creative collection of songs.