Think of the great one-man studio projects in classic rock history and one can easily come up with names like Paul McCartney's eponymous debut solo, Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything and virtually anything by Prince. Well, please add to that illustrious list Chapel Hill's multi-instrumentalist Boogie Reverie! After four years of recording as a one-man studio project, his experimental pop debut, Prest was born in 2007. Yes, dear reader that is now almost four years ago, but it took Reverie an additional four years to re-evaluate what he once considered his first great work. Still satisfied with the record, finally, Prest is available to the public! Which certainly speaks volumes of Reverie's attitude towards quality control, if nothing else.
Right off the bat, let me get this out of the way - Prest is a mini pop masterpiece and the eight years of blood, sweat and tears (one would imagine) definitely shines through in this genre-blending, style-shifting musical smorgasbord. This is no mere hyperbole, there is something intensely distinctive about Prest that is hard to ignore, especially if you are a true music lover - that is, someone who is able to embrace pop and rock music on a holistic level without pandering to 'genres' and 'styles'. If indeed this describes you then, Prest will be somewhat akin to the Holy Grail, an archaeological find of utmost importance and value - to realize that there are still artists who not only desire, but are fully capable of creating pop art such as this, is an affirmation to the power of pop!
As mentioned earlier, Reverie never sticks to one particular music style but throws all the great references and influences of the last 50 years into the melting pot and stirs hard! But if push came to shove and one had to do the reviewer thing and attempt to nail down Reverie's sound for reader consumption, then one would have to say that Prest probably would best be described as a cross between Rundgren's hyperkinetic A Wizard, A True Star and the lo-fi pop aesthetic of Bob Pollard's Guided by Voices' early 90s output. Which more or less sounds like a musical wet dream to this writer's ears!
Seriously, folks, how else do you evaluate an album that contains songs like the infectious, dynamic indie rocker “Serum Blue” (the kind of music you'd probably find on a Merge Records release)? Or the opening, distortion-textured noise exercise that is “Divinorium”? Or The Fall-referencing atonal stomper “Maladjusted Animal”? Or the country-folk bizarro ballad “Organic Days”? Or the goofball found-sound sourcing “It Wasn't Always Like This”? Or the mutated folk-bluesy Neil Young-channeling “Apathy Box”? Or the transcendental dreamy space-rock of “House of Prayer”?
One thing is clear - Reverie is a musical sponge and is able to take the myriad strange and wonderful sounds of pop and rock music history and distill them into some kind of coherent manifesto for his own philosophy of rock 'n' roll. The mix of genre, mood, and texture found on Prest is simply dizzying and at its best is able to challenge the Flaming Lips themselves at its most trippiest! No mean feat certainly! What is even more exciting is the news that Boogie Reverie has recorded over a dozen secret albums since 2007! One can only imagine what other sonic delights will emerge from the wildly creative genius that is Boogie Reverie. But in the meantime, take your time to savor the wonders of Prest.
More information on Boogie Reverie at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/BoogieReverie1
Review by Kevin Mathews
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)