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Synth Album Review: "The Curse of the Daydreamer" by Victor Roy

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.

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Overall Album Impressions

Victor Roy’s “The Curse of the Daydreamer” is an intricately woven synth tapestry that unfolds stories of high adventure, ancient lands and journeys through landscapes both physical and mental. It combines a luscious synth palette, well-composed melodies and a storyteller’s flare for creating images in the mind’s eye.

One of the strong appeals that “The Curse of the Daydreamer” has for me is the way Victor Roy deploys his wide-ranging synth palette to weave a musical spell on the listener. The synth instruments he chooses reflect the moods and emotional expressions of his compositions, adding depth to them. The synth choices fill each piece with a plethora of tones, textures and timbres that intrigue the ear and fill the imagination.

Another strength of “The Curse of the Daydreamer” is Victor Roy’s ability to craft moving, expressive melodies. Each melody seems carefully thought out and composed to explore the complexity of human emotions without being too “note-heavy.” The melodic content is clear and well-balanced, often contrasting and juxtaposing emotions to create richness and nuance. Victor Roy’s melodies are also memorable and easily bear repeated listening.

The way in which this album combines all of its sonic building blocks paints vivid images in my imagination. The layers of sound, the instrumentation and the interactions between melodies and harmonies all combine to spin out sonic stories. I often feel transported to other realms and states of mind by the music, carrying me away on flights of fancy.

My Favourite Tracks Analyzed

“Open the Gateway” starts out with a massive retro drum flourish and a deep bass flow as rippling, slightly distorted, hollow synths cascade in active patterns. After a drum fill, a trumpeting synth sings out an energizing melodic pattern over the throbbing bass and propulsive drums.

The broad, gruff synths carry an engaging melody that speaks of a world full of possibilities and grand adventure. A bursting, warm medium-high synth sings its uplifting melody. Ghostly, ethereal synths ripple as wide, brassy synth carries a melody’s expressing the first steps of a journey.

The drums and bass carry a subdivided beat that slows the track’s tempo. Warmer, rounded synth adds a gentler voice and the soaring synth pattern cries out as the beat accelerates. The solid drums and bass shape and direct the music as the melody explodes with irrepressible excitement before fading.

Rumbling, void-deep bass moves in undulating motion as a medium-low, rapidly whirling arpeggio spins to open “The Curse of the Daydreamer.” Elevated, minor key synth with a full sound tumbles through the music and weighty bass depths growl underneath. Tendrils of misty sound flow in the background over the dense, powerful bass as gigantic drums pulsate with equal gravity.

The medium-low, full synth melody creates a pleasant contrast, its gentler touch tinged by longing. Sparkling chimes gleam in the darkness and rapidly flickering arpeggios whirl again. There’s a haunted feeling to the segment, that evokes ancient places of mystic power.

Now muscled bass heaves and drums batter as shadowy synths undulate in vaguely ominous waves. The drumbeat subdivides and softer, more delicate sound trails through before the drums charge briefly. As the song winds down, it flows into gliding, caressing sound that slips smoothly by before the drums and bass rumble and fade.

“Jingle Extravaganza” begins as glimmering synths rapidly rise and fall and gigantic retro drums bounce between audio channels. Chiming, raised synth glistens in extended drifts over the endless bass waves and throbbing drums. Now a dynamic drumbeat and active bass underpin tense, higher synth that jumps in energetic notes.

Brassy, medium-low synth carries surging chords underneath the nasal-sounding lead synth. I am drawn toward the jazzy melody’s sunny disposition and infectious sense of joy. Angular drums and bass urge the music forward as medium-low, speeding synth spins through.

Once again, nasal, medium-high synth sings the positive, empowering melody. Slow, elevated synths shine through waves of bright, slightly lower synth. The drum and bass propulsion drives underneath the glinting high synths before the track ends.

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Slightly distorted, lush synths grow in power as they sing out in strong, steady bursts to support elevated, flashing synth dancing in positive, lambent notes as “Adventure Time” starts. The bass moves in a jumping pattern as the melody calls out, carried on full, medium-low synths that roam through the music.

The glowing synths in the background take on the lead part, singing out a melody that calls listeners onto the open road. Elevated, shimmering synths skip along in a textural shine over the steady bass throb and pulsing drumbeat. Powerful medium-low synths leap forward over the moving bass line and medium-low synth dances.

Shinier, higher synths effectively boost the sense of musical optimism in this track. Drums and bass create an undeniable heartbeat as the higher, shining synths spin out their addictive pattern that is encouraging as the music drives on to a conclusion.

“Elegy For Fantasia” begins as an elegant 8-bit melody drifts into the music, slowly growing in power. Luxuriant, medium-low synth carries a soaring, heroic melody as quickly sparkling synths flicker around it. The melody has a depth to it as it moves in elegiac lines that feel pained and full of ancient energy. Dense, slowly throbbing drums and uplifting bass support the other musical elements and shape them.

Arpeggios ripple before the melody slowly cascades, carried on a distorted, nasal-sounding synth. I appreciate the way in which the main melody sings and sobs, full of sorrow and a dignified acceptance of loss. There’s depth and a sense of expression in the synths as they tug at the heart. The majestically singing melody soars on and the solid drums pulse to support it over the solid bass well.

The slightly rough-edged, warm synths call out in a melody brimming over with energy as “Dialogue Analogue” commences. Drums begin to softly tap and add rhythm to guide the tracks as flashing synths shimmer high in the background. A pulsing drum beat drives on, creating a steady heartbeat along with the bass line.

The lead melody calls out, flickering synth dancing along, full of yearning need as oscillating bass pulses steadily. I enjoy the way in which the medium-low, round synth exudes melancholy, imbuing the melody with a feeling of nostalgia. A whirling synth twists out, carrying more aching emotion over the throbbing drums and bass pulse. The main melody reaches upwards, balanced by a tinge of sadness, while glistening synths flicker in the background before fading out.

“Uncharted Heart” comes to life as tranquil synths float gently along over deeply swirling bass and the soft drums add a subtle pulse, There’s a drum fill that circles in as glassy arpeggios slowly rotate and bass trembles far below. Medium-high, resonant synth carries a melody full of intense emotions in which loss and hope intermingle.

I find the mix of feelings quite touching in this melodic part. The music moves into a segment in which shining, rough-edged synths burst in an angular line before a vaulting synth adds more positive sensations of progress. After a climbing, string-like synth swell, the track returns to the longing, stately main melody.

Quickly whirling arpeggios circle while the drums and bass add form to the music. Bursting synth gives way to hollow synth singing out while string-like sounds harmonize below it. Once more, the strong lead synth melody coruscates with feelings that run the gamut from pining to wishful dreaming before the track ends.

Swirling, low, metallic sounds sweep underneath as trumpeting synth notes with a sharp edge blare into the music to kick off “Outro (Departure).” Very high, tense synth patterns trickle through and brassy, medium-low synth moves in constrained, tightly wound lines.

Elevated synth shards shift and trembling, string-like notes contribute to a feeling of sadness and emptiness. A computerized, twisting synth writhes in a strange feeling pattern. For me, it effectively creates the sensation of waking from an odd dream. Shattered synth cascades through the music and the harsh, cutting lead fades away into a warmer, more tremulous flow and then into silence.

Conclusion

“The Curse of the Daydreamer” is an album that takes me to different worlds and emotional states as it unfolds itself. Victor Roy’s music lifts me away from this broken, bloodied world and carries me into ancient lands and above the cares and worries of day-to-day existence.

© 2022 Karl Magi

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