NEWdOG 2021

Water Finds A Way

Estonian artist reveals his innermost emotions and serves up his most intimate album.

Lately, Robert Jürjendal has been thriving in collaborative climate, getting involved in different duos, trios and ensembles and bouncing off his ideas of peers’ on an array of records – as cloistered as "Across The Evening" that he shaped in the company Jon Durant and as multilayered as "Once Only by ETERNAL RETURN – with the guitarist’s last solo effort released as far back as 2016. Returning to his own melodious devices, Robert zoomed in from communal macrocosm to focus on personal microcosm to prove its immense richness in terms of tone, variety and sentiment. All of this is rolled into a single enchanting experience, though – and for a good reason.

“Water Finds A Way” feels like an hour-long family affair, which is hardly surprising given the voices that are heard here were provided by the guitarist and his wife Signe and cello by their son Anti, so there’s firm logic in the album starting with “Trust” whose soundscape has a tender groove to it before sparse, if insistent, strings begin to paint an ethereal, albeit tangible and emotionally charged, panorama. Once this vista’s been unraveled, the acoustic lace and electric weave of “On The Heights” must take the listener’s breath away, the piece’s wondrous flow gripping one’s soul and allowing chamber atmosphere confine such a flutter for stronger impact, until the vocals on “Morning Land” break a fragile glass wall, and the gloomy licks of “Grey And Blue” – co-penned and performed with pianist Miguel Noya, Robert’s colleague in a few projects – set the stormy skies as the artist’s sole limit, creativity-wise.

While “Hikers” shows how adept Jürjendal is when it’s time to twang and spread harmonic passages around, “The Lake Freezes” finds him surfing romantic waves over gentle strum, and the ecologically minded “For The Bees” has a surface so translucent as to let Robert’s caressing lines shine a dewdrop light into the air. But whereas solemn synthesizer and guitar figures of “AIR” and “Before And Now” channel respectively Mozart and Bach, “On The Border Of Sleep” radiates hypnagogic throb, and the heartbeat-driven “Come Back Free” streams flamenco vibe from outer space. Further on, “The Clock Ticks” oozes a progressive rock kind of multilayered excitement only to be contrasted with the effects-stricken fluid tranquility of the record’s title track that expands into the little epic of “Everything Goes On” – full of elegiac promise.

If the guitarist means to stay on an individual course for his next opus, this promise is bound to deliver a bountiful aural harvest.


June 4, 2021

Category(s): Reviews
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