Music Review: Come Find Me by Fox Amoore

Come Find Fox playing at Abbey Road in his latest album.

Come Find Me – Fox Amoore

Orchestral/New Age

Released: 4th July, 2014

come_find_me

The IndyGoGo campaign made sure that this album was very well anticipated and pretty hyped before it even got recorded. Now the musicians have played, the technicians have mixed and mastered and the listeners get to play it to their hearts content. But is it worth it?

If you are buying the CD presentation, the artwork by AlectorFencer is colourful and appropriately mysterious, especially on the back cover, where a feral red fox finds something glowing under a tree. While on the front and disk, the musical sheets are spiralling out from Fox’s soul.

So what about the music? All tracks here are original creations, some have been heard in past Fox Amoore albums, however this is the first time his music has been recorded in a live organic environment at the famous Abbey Road Studios and not just a purely digital creation from Fox’s computer. Listening for the first time it sounded a little softer and not as clean cut. The other massive difference is the English Chamber Orchestra who under the baton of Kenneth Woods really bring Fox’s music to a new level. The flutes flutter and strings soar with real emotion, every instrument has someone there to give it a little personality. It means less virtual choir and exotic instruments than a normal Fox Amoore album, but I enjoyed hearing it now finally in reality.

The title track Come Find Me begins with a short voice introduction by Alex Vance stating that “Fate is our adventure.” Before the orchestra strike up and play the main melody together, and then it fades into the beautiful solo voice as it sings in the night, with the woodwinds given a lead. Before it shifts to the brass, who play the main melody again, replied by piccolo, before the whole orchestra goes around one more time with a choir added in too, before just the piano is left playing all alone. It really sets the tone of what you can expect to come in some later tracks.

Immortality is first of two tracks performed by Nicola Kinsman (Lilypad) on the album. Originally heard on the “Ballard of Midnight 5th Anniversary Album”, here it is occupied with minimal orchestra for much of the song, except toward the end. The bass guitar doing the chords is a nice touch, and departure from the original version, it somehow gives it that reality grounding. The lyrics speak about the sun and moon, and the autumn leaves which drift away but don’t worry, we won’t.

What does the Fox play is certainly a nice name for a track, I just feel its the weakest song in the album, which is a shame as Fox can really play a diverse range of music at the piano. I am not sure if Fox was just improvising in Studio 2 at Abbey Road or if it was pre-written, but it would have been nice to had something a bit more to it. There’s a certainly a main melody there which sounds great, perhaps I’d like to have seen it flourish a little more maybe.

The second main orchestral track is one of Fox Amoore’s classic themes, Dreaming of You and here it really is beautiful to hear. The strings pluck and lay the chords, while the woodwinds build the main melody with a lovely little interweaving pair of melodies. Before the rest of the orchestra take up the central theme and play it triumphantly with a satisfying clash of the cymbals. There’s a lovely flutter from the woodwinds and the brass softly play into a second melody, before passing it to the woodwinds to lead back to the main melody and which is then given to the violins to end off. With a lovely soft finish with the percussion creating that twinkling of stars.

To the stars is the theme of Starry Destination which is performed by Travis Ratledge. The song is more powerful than I had expected, having never heard the original version. The guitar performances by Neil Humphrey also shine here, and really gave the music a slightly haunting quality which was topped by Travis’ extraordinary voice. Prepare for blast-off, it’d make an amazing single.

The theme of the stars continues into Nicola Kinsman’s final track, and one I was most excited to hear, called A Million Lights. With the full backing the English Chamber Orchestra, this track really paints the picture superbly of a couple together with nothing but the universe to lay up and enjoy admiring. The orchestra soars alongside Nicola’s voice, in the middle it plays alone and sweeps around in a wonderful interlude before hushing to just a few woodwinds and then it ends beautifully with a last epic go of the chorus which makes the heart soar.

Be Forever Mine is a faster paced song with a darker heart. The only track sung by Amadhia, she sings out wanting to pull the listener in. Fox underscores on piano, while there’s hints of Alexander James Adams’ fiddle and toward the end an almost Nightwish sound sets in with the guitar rocking as embrace tightens.

Alexander James Adams strikes up his fiddle and vocals for Kellashee as he invites you to “Come touch the sky, where the River runs free”. Its a interesting collaboration between Fox and Alexander, I got a sense there was more of Alexander’s hand in the writing of this one which had more of his musical style to it. It’s still very enjoyable to listen to and has grown on me after a few plays.

The gem in this album for me is I am Here. The harp opens with the central theme, and when the solo violinist takes it, the emotion is very clear and feels real. If there’s one thing a computer cannot do, its give an instrument a true personality and raw feeling. The violinist makes the sadness feel real, and so do the rest of the orchestra. When by the second half, the whole orchestra comes in to replay the central theme its absolutely stunning, and a few times the emotion has actually caught me and I had to try not to cry.

Travis closes the album with a track a bit more joyful. Let’s Fly has a encouraging piano underscore and an acoustic guitar for much of the song. Once again the vocal range of Travis brings warmth and hope to the lyrics about building the confidence to go out into the world. It’s a wonderful feel-good conclusion to the album.

Come Find Me” is testament to where Fox Amoore has come. It’s an exciting place and time for the composer, with his first professional studio album, there is satisfying variety of music and style from orchestral to indie. The talent and efforts of everyone involved really make the listening a joy and personally hearing Fox’s music finally played by an actual orchestra brings it out into the wider world. It might been funded and produced primarily by members of the Furry Fandom, but I do hope it is heard and appreciated by many more music lovers.

If you like Fox’s music than you would be mad to miss out, if you haven’t heard his music before than I highly encourage giving it a listen.

You can buy it from Fox Amoore’s Bandcamp Digitally from here.

 

Written by Michael “Mikepaws” Garnett

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