North of Tomorrow, comprising long-standing musical cohorts Gary Adrian, Brian Mueller and Stephen Rogers, bring forth their latest musical endeavor, Clear As Can Be. Rooted in decades of collaboration and brewed under the desert sun of Arizona, the band incorporates the diverse creativity of musicians from across the globe, steering clear of genre constraints with each musical expression. Their previous release, Something Unexpected in 2022, now finds swift companionship in this new full-length offering, a rollercoaster ride of soundscapes and genres.
The journey kicks off with "Late Again," a track resonating with an eerie undertone and a mesmerizing rhythm. The fluidity of its ever-evolving soundscape captivates, underscored by a compelling bass line and well-executed vocals, setting a formidable tone as the album's opener. "The Pretender’s Ball" flirts with a reggae aesthetic but veers into uncharted territories, weaving dissonance into its fabric. A distinct darkness permeates the track, inviting curiosity and anticipation for what unfolds next. "Catbird Seat" introduces a jazzy element, yet North of Tomorrow subverts expectations, evoking a David Lynch-esque ambiance reminiscent of his iconic series, Twin Peaks, showcasing their knack for defying musical norms.
In "It’s Always Something," a joyful exuberance takes center stage, possibly the album's most radio-friendly tune, boasting infectious catchiness and delightful vocal melodies. "The Boojum Tree" stands out, its experimental nature residing in a realm between Radiohead's avant-garde allure and the electronic finesse akin to Jon Hopkins. "Little Things" exudes a vintage ‘60s aura, nearly akin to an acoustic ballad. The fusion of atmospheric elements and innovative electronic percussion crafts a captivating sonic landscape. "Kentuckey Burden" boldly reimagines country music, challenging listeners to experience and believe the transformation firsthand.
As the album unfolds, North of Tomorrow's ability to sustain intrigue remains unwavering. Tracks like "Who Killed Love?," "The Whole World Stopped" and "This and That" stand out as exceptional offerings, each holding its treasure within this multifaceted musical collection. For a fully immersive experience, diving into this album with headphones is highly recommended, revealing the intricate layers and nuances that make Clear As Can Be a reservoir of musical treasures waiting to be discovered.