CD REVIEW: Tuval Cain - Forging the Future
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Tuval Cain
Forging the Future
Genre: R&B, Psychedelic Rock, Soul Rock, Progressive Rock
Sounds Like: Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Super Tramp, Rare Earth, Santana, Elton John, Lil Feat, Iron Butterfly, Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd.
Weakness: Winded Songs, Marketability, Dated Sound
Tuval Cain is a 70s-style neo-classic progressive rock project with a wide range of influences, including Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, The Doors, The Beatles, Steely Dan, Queen, Kansas, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Rainbow, ELP, Yes, Blood Sweat and Tears, Crosby Stills and Nash, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Meatloaf, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk, Mozart, Mussorgsky, and Bach.
The CD kicks things off with “Nomad” an upbeat intro piece that serves up driving rhythms, up-beat vocal melodies accompanied by inviting R&B guitar licks and impressive keyboard accents. Track 2 “Wandering” shifts gears a bit with its impressive musicianship, against well placed vocal harmonies and a grand slam chorus. Track 3 “Spiral Down” delivers smooth moving ditty with well placed vocal melody, dynamic musical flow and thought provoking lyrical content that flows and ebbs its way through to musical fruition. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice a lot of musical variety from these guys reminiscent of classic Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Super Tramp, Rare Earth, Santana, Elton John, Lil Feat, Iron Butterfly, pink Floyd and even and Grateful Dead. First the music itself has a lot of vocal originality and possesses a psychedelic 70’s rock persona. The CD offers a rich melodic vocal foundation and lush layers of instrumentation. I would classify this music as classic 70’s Psychedelic Rock, R&B, Soul Rock and even Progressive Rock with a strong emphasis on vocal harmonies and superb musicianship. All in all the CD has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing amazing playing, dynamic arrangements, and wire arrange of instrumentation. Besides the standard 4 piece delivery you will also notice brief splashes of keyboards, violin, saxophone, well placed harmonies, flute, horns, percussive accents and solo guitar layered within the music. As far as vocal abilities from Nagar. I can also hear classic Dr. John, Jimmy Buffet and Randy Newman. Nagar’s vocal abilities work well across the board possessing a vocal swagger reminiscent of classic Dr. John, with just a splash of Joe Cocker. Nagar's his voice fits this style of music perfectly. As for the other vocal contributors they continuously deliver amazing and well placed harmonies that back Nagar up well. Nagar demonstrates a strong and confident vocal ability as he takes many impressive vocal risks along the way. All production aspects check out as the CD has solid low end groove and crystal clear high end clarity. Finally a lot of credit should go out to David Kuhn who is the real mastermind behind this project. Not only did he play Keyboards on all songs he wrote all this music and deserves a lot of credit from bringing this all together. Make no bones about it folks it took a lot of work to out this CD in my hands. From dynamic “Power” to heartfelt “A Distant Well” and Looking Glass Love (Predatory Games), to melodic “No More Need” to grooving “Don’t Try to Change Me” to this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 13 “Retrobate” the perfect faille statement for a CD of this caliber.
All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. This mix though adequate is lacks a modern day marketability, flair and dynamic. I fully realize this is a subjective art form but some of the aforementioned issues do effect the CD’s marketability. Perhaps this CD was released 30 years to late.
In closing Forging the Future by Tuval Cain is just a blast to listen to and is a strong musical production from start to finish. The music is highly original, extremely melodic with amazing writing and playing from all involved. As the CD progressed I became more and more impressed with it. Because of the influences I would say the flower children out there will love this one. The musicianship is first rate, the songs are quite dynamic and in extend play format many will enjoy. Each song possesses a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Lastly - the writing and singing abilities of Tuval Cain delivers the goods and more.