Robert Menzel and company take the word ‘alchemy’ literally in this new album that blends a variety of music to create something unique. 

Experimental, unique and thoughtful are just three words that you might use to describe this album from Robert Menzel’s Quartet.

While beginning the album  with ‘Wind of Change’ it might seem that the album might lack in confidence, it soon builds up in momentum with tracks such as ‘IPM’ and ‘Ich Sehe Nichts’ – both of which add character to the album that seems slightly flat up until halfway through the album.

There are many instances of the way in which Menzel develops the music, adding layers gradually and at different intervals, ensuring that the listener sits up and pays attention constantly. This is particularly evident on ‘Strange Ways’ which is filled with variety and warmth in tone that is pleasant to hear.

Yet, there are some occasions that it doesn’t quite work – noticeably on the cover of 90’s hit ‘Barbie Girl’ which although is an unusual and quirky track to include on the album anyway, it just lacks the same level of substance that other tracks on the album possesses.

But despite this, the album flows well and with ease throughout but in particular during ‘Wind of Change’ through to ‘The Wall’ – all of which have a similar tone, yet individual enough to make the listener appreciate the difference between them all.

Is it perhaps not the boldest or the most exciting album out there, but what ‘Alchemy’ does deliver on is a pride in mixing different styles together to create something that is refreshing to listen to.

‘Alchemy’ by Robert Menzel is released on the 19th February through Two Rivers Records. 

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