During the early to mid-seventies is when the guitar maestros were coming out. John McLaughlin and Al Dimeola, were at the top in my book of guitarists. The mixed both electric and acoustic guitar virtuosity with equal ease. Rock, Jazz, Fusion and Flamenco abounded flavors abounded on their releases showcasing a 360° vision of the guitar as a lead instrument. Brady Novotny who started playing the guitar at the age of 10, is pretty much cut of the same cloth, and on his latest album, “Passions Collide”, he even includes a vocal track featuring his wife, Jennifer. Inspired by Randy Rhoads, Brady was determined to be a world class guitar guitarist from a young age. With life changes, and a masters in Psychology under his belt, Brady has never abandoned his passion, and is back with more conviction than before. The new album forges 10 tracks which covers the breadths of Brady’s talents.
A musical conversation within itself, “Passions Collide” is a skilled expression of his dazzling compositions. It’s a thrill to listen to an explorer reaching new creative peaks, even if the air’s pretty thin up here for the rest of us. What truly shines on this record is the varied, textured soundscapes presented with each track.
There is an eclectic cohesion of styles at hand. The jaw-dropping flamenco acoustic guitar, gives off an iridescent aura. On the other hand, the fiery electric riffs and shreds are nothing short of euphoric.The instrumentation, around, is nothing short of phenomenally top-notch. The shredding, abrasive guitar slithering through the album’s opening title track and centerpiece ‘Passions Collide’ never misses a beat, never falters for a second.
An interlude of faultless guitar and drum syncing segues into a beautiful bass-driven groove as Brady works exquisite magic with his instrument, for this track feature some of the best guitar tones you’re likely to find in any variety of music. The entire rhythm section on this album is as prevalent as it is anonymous, perfectly complimenting Brady Novotny’s wildly cascading guitar lead.
Beauty unmatched abounds to no limit on ‘Ancient Romance’. The guitars electric lull one with the strength of their melodies, ultimately progressing into an almost jam-like quality. The ensemble ambience given off by those guitars is unbelievable.
As it is on the flamenco interludes of ‘Cara Bella’, which again intermingles the sounds of acoustic and electric. The music is technically driven, with a remarkable ear for intricate rhythms and exotic harmonies. “Redemption’s Cry” is a luscious power ballad which features the powerful voice of Brady’s wife, Jennifer.
‘Heart’s Fire’ is an uninhibited jam, a melting pot of numerous blues-based playing styles and genres, stewed into quite the musical experience. The crystalline sound that is produced during ‘The Journey Home’ is unique, with Brady Novotny’s throwing in some fabulous lead lines, faintly reminiscent of Gary Moore.
‘A Classical Prelude’ showcases a more mellow acoustic approach, which is where ‘Blue Rose’ starts before evolving into another inviting vocal track. ‘Soul Harmony’ features lush horn passages juxtaposed against Brady’s shredded guitar attack.
The final track, ‘Midnight Prayer’ mixes both vocal adlibs and stunning guitar leads to great effect. Every single track on this album is a glorious example of not only musical ability, but the knowledge of how music meshes with itself and different styles. ‘Passions Collide’ has us that it is possible to create something moving, powerful, and seminal with two vastly different guitar styles. All that is needed is the willingness and confidence to do so.
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