Cyrus Rego (Emperor Jones)

Cyrus Rego (Emperor Jones)

Cyrus Rego

(Emperor Jones)

The six-string bass that Eddie Robert wields for Austin quartet Paul Newman is only the beginning of the lush musical atmosphere he creates as Cyrus Rego on his first solo release. Robert does everything here, adding simple guitar phrases and cascading keyboards as well as standard bass and a smattering of high, soft vocals for a sophisticated and engaging set of ambient rock songs. While the melodic, lyrical beauty of the opener "The Sort of Juice I'm Used To" is perhaps the most memorable "song," the long, pulsing instrumental tracks that follow it have a depth and complexity that beckon, quietly, for repeated listening. Robert's music communicates a surprising amount through layers of simple sounds, repeated and sustained, and a suggestive singing style that, like the music, establishes more a soundtrack and a starting point for the imagination than any attention-grabbing or singalongable song sequence. There's barely a chorus to be found, but strings of notes float to the mind long after the album has ended. This is music to think by.

***.5

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