Genius is a word that is thrown around all too often, especially in the arts. There is no defining traits to it, and anytime we fall this or that album a little too hard we drop the term, and discerning that fuzzy area between being very talented at one’s craft and being a genius can be dicey. With my last review of Steven Wilson, I was given a good dose of genius, being able to re-make a style and break ground again and again. Oddly enough, my next review to follow of One I Cinema, the debut project of German Marco Meyer might have found that other spectrum of genius, that of a young newcomer who bleeds musical brilliance from every pore.
After production of the debut self titled album, Meyer assembled a live band, but for the album itself, he took care of all duties. Over the course of eleven tracks that span genres from deeply soulful rock to crunching metal, Meyer shows serious chops on all instrumental aspects, as well as proving he is perfectly capable of writing anything from a catchy riff to a tear rendering ballad. Oh yeah, the dude is 23. I’ll lay down the term here and now folks. Genius.
Digging into the album, I would say the thing that stands out above all else is production. This thing is clean and balanced, across the board. To hold other self produced solo debuts to this album would be a criminal comparison at best. Stylistically he reaches back to good old rock and roll for his starting ground, bring a nostalgic tear to this old man’s eye. Almost any track could easily slide in between Van Halen and Cheap Trick on the local classic rock radio station without skipping a beat, the only sign something happening would be the surge of phone calls wondering who the hell that was. Though every track is solid, my personal standouts are the opening Broken Hearts, the painfully moving The Mirror, the harrowing Melissa Pt. 1&2, and the epic sounding closer of Insidious. And though he plays all instruments, and does all with tremendous skill, he stands out on his chosen grounds for the touring band, guitar and vocals. He displays tremendous guitar chops, and his hard rock vocal stylings are just killer.
Now I’m not dropping the genius label on Meyer quite yet, but this debut is a seriously solid step in earning it. It takes a hard ear and a thoroughly asshole-ish demeanor to find any chinks in this album, and even those are nit picky. I’m keeping an eye on you my friend, don’t make me eat my words down the road. Nice work man, seriously nice work.