Elements features a powerful, collection of seven instrumentals that proudly captures York’s experimental guitar artistry and ear for music production. Despite being purely instrumental, it’s an album that conveys volumes without a single lyric, a quality that can be hard to find in today’s rock scene.
From front to back, Elements features fine musicianship from a cast of professional talent, including York’s son, Ryan. Production of the album took place at York’s home as well as at Jon Mansfield’s local studio. Mastering duties fell to Cameron Henry, an engineer from the renowned Nashville-based recording and mastering studio Welcome to 1979.
This experimental rock album is composed of seven tracks that effortlessly melt and flow from one to another. It’s a strong, moving synergy that is best enjoyed from start to finish. The record opens with the track “Elements,” and mesmerizing guitar leads follow. York’s guitar playing is a pleasure to listen to, and the band complements the progression and flow of the album nicely.
Murfreesboro musicians are fully aware of Forrest York Guitars near the Square, which has served as a stockpile of knowledge, products and service. With this background, there is no question that York knows how to create exceptional guitar tone, and this fact is evident on every track of Elements. With wailing leads and haunting tones, he manages to create edgy soundscapes that rock ’n’ roll purists can appreciate.
The album houses a wide variety of tones and textures reminiscent of ’70s-era psychedelic rock. Despite an abnormally long cast of drummers, there is continuity from track to track, an impressive feat for an instrumental album. This gives the impression that York and Co. had a clear vision going into the recording process. It also shows off York’s talent as a producer. From a production standpoint, Elements is a meditative, well-crafted body of work. Grungy and abstract, yet in some ways simplistic, Elements could prove to be a local gem.
The lack of vocals may be a turnoff for some listeners who favor music dependent on a good chorus; indeed, some of the tracks are too long for a quick and casual listen. Less adventurous listeners should be aware of where the album falls categorically. Elements is an interesting and unique listening experience overall, with good attention to detail, but is far from a one-size-fits-all affair.
Elements will hit home with many music fans because it nods to a virtuoso guitar style not often seen in pop music these days. Forrest York and his fellow musicians deserve recognition for creating music that steps a few measures outside of what most are used to. To grab a copy, pay a visit to Forrest at his shop, located at 123 E. Main St., and prepare for a mindful listening experience.
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