(Photo Credit - Brooke Barone)
Album Review - Current Joys: Voyager (May 14, 2021)
After reviewing and listening to a lot of day disco, Current Joys took me back to my alternative rock roots. Starting with “Dancer in the Dark,” I am taken to a retro-upgrade sound, this time picking elements from the late nineties thru early millennium. Maybe it is the guitar. Maybe it is Nick Rattigan’s voice. Maybe it’s the mood set by the late twenty-some artist.
Another album that I have had the opportunity to listen through many times, I hear a lot of influence. The beginning of the first song reminds me of “Weird Fishes” by Radiohead. But I also hear Ryan Adams, Vampire Weekend, The Twilight Saga Soundtracks, and maybe even some Tom Waits. Listen to his voice in “Big Star.” But these connections are only starting points so I can relate to musicians that are new to me. Once I got past my awkwardness and began to let Rattigan in, the emotions of the lyrics and music became my focal point.
I cannot imagine what it is like to be a musician right now. The pandemic hit them hard, especially the up and comers, which includes Current Joys. A prolific artist, Voyager is the first album Rattigan released under his moniker since A Different Age in 2018. While not long ago, Current Joys released at least one or two albums every year from 2013 to 2018, and a three-year hiatus is significant. However, Rattigan’s move to the studio created a jump from lo-fi to the full band sound that is huge. Compared to 2018 Current Joys, the music presented on Voyager shows the desire to take his sound to the next level. As someone who appreciates music, I love the history and the evolution of the artist. As a writer and reviewer, the change, adaptability, and growth after taking time off from producing new material makes me relate to Rattigan on a whole other level. He is a perfectionist with his sound. Only a musician who wants to be heard puts in that effort. It is the drive and the heart that shows throughout Voyager. And while the lyrics bounce from sentimental to slightly humorous to extremely dramatic, the music contains the moodiness and does not allow it to get out of hand.
Final Thought: This album is full and complete. Even though I did not go through Voyager song by song, that does not mean I did not like the music. I felt the need to focus on the artist and his growth. His ability to evolve is what will make this album stand out in what will be a long career.
Favorite Songs: “Dancer in the Dark,” “Altered State,” and “Vagabond.”
Rating - 5/5 – because this is a pinnacle album in Current Joys career