The cover to Nathaniel Johnstone’s The Heart Unwound made me think I’d be listening to some sort of steampunk band that was really just a rock band with steampunk visuals and lyrical content.
I was wrong.
The Heart Unwound contains music originally from the Bellydance Artistry with Tempest DVD, an instructional video.
At first, I thought the album was what my friends colloquially refer to as “gypsy” music. I suppose the patterns, mandolin, violin, and banjo, could make one think that. But it goes beyond that, and would be pejorative to label it as such.
The album contains some catchy tunes, but has an obviously “Eastern” feel to it. It is by no means bad, but there’s little about it that strikes me as special.
The first track, Avi Solym, is the best. A bit of singing and nice music to back it up. Unlike the other tracks, this one has some backbone.
Odalisque has a solid start. At first I thought it might have some backbone, but then it became the same chords repeated.
I like these songs, or at least I’m trying to. There’s just something rather boring about them. They don’t go anywhere. I’m content with that for a pop song, but I feel songs like this should make me feel like I’m going places.
I don’t, and that knocks off points (which I don’t give).
If I wanted to listen to this kind of music, I should probably try to find something that isn’t the soundtrack to an instructional bellydance video. One of my biggest complaints about soundtrack music, no matter how amazing, is that it lacks a certain substance, a certain charm.
Nathaniel Johnstone achieves what he wanted, I assume. Maybe you’ll like The Heart Unwound more than I do, but I can’t imagine myself putting down money for it.