Jay Ray — Self-Resonance
Are there many examples of a complete, catching and powerful debut album that you know? I personally can count them on the fingers of one hand.
This time the list of the successful debut albums was replenished by a new name: the Finnish vocalist, musician and producer Jay Ray is releasing his album «Self-Resonance» which creation had been lasting for 5 years. And believe me, it all was worth it.
The album begins with “Delivered into Arrival”, an epic and, at the same time, touching track that does not forebode the next one will turn out to be a real “blockbuster”. I definitely like the technique of “flowing” of one song into another when you can’t understand (and you don’t expect) where is the end of the first song and the beginning of the second one. Considering the contrast between «Delivered into Arrival” and «137”, I must say that it sounds impressive.
Afterwards the album is getting «faster», and “Left of You”, “Slave State”, “Beyond The Past” and “Paranormal” are really heavy songs with «viscous» rocky-raw sound and predominantly aggressive vocals. However, а “Crucial Fracture” and «King Vultures” lower the tempo sounding more dramatically and abounding with keyboards’ inserts, they continue leading the «heavy» line.
“The Great Art of Living” and «You Were There” turned out to be especially epic, electric sounding of the latter is moved to the background a bit giving a place to the keyboards, guitars and powerful vocals of Jay.
«Striven”, recorded together with Marko Saaresto, the vocalist of Poets of the Fall, is surely one of the «pearls» of «Self-Resonance”. Singers’ voices lead an incredibly beautiful vocal line replacing each other and blending in such a way that, having a lower tone, Marko‘s voice «supports» Jay who sounds extremely lyrically here. Immensely emotionally heavy song, truly sad and deeply touching thanks to the orchestra background and keyboards.
Outro-track “Self-Resonance” amazed me with the chorus and the orchestra. It’s a final song of the album that leaves the listener face-to-face with the artist.
«Lost Chance” (feat. Paul Udarov) and a metal remix of Celldweller’s “I Can’t Wait” are the bonus tracks, and they fit the style and atmosphere of «Self-Resonance” perfectly.
Photo by Juuso Raeniemi
Thus, I must say that I haven’t been astonished not only by a debut work, but also by a release in general for quite a long time. The album is very multifaceted, all-sufficient, mighty and interesting. The basic style is electronic rock, but besides the album also combines elements of some other genres like metal, industrial and hip-hop, etc. In such case it’s important not to “overload” it and not to lose yourself, and Jay Ray managed to avoid the both. Especially I’d like to emphasize the musician’s composing and vocal talents: each melody is memorable and invariably touching, and there’s no doubt that using such a number of vocals techniques is worth being respected. The only thing that confuses me is the frequent change and the fall of the tempo that runs through the whole album, but most likely it’s a character feature of the genre and in particular Jay’s style.
It’s worth mentioning that Jay is an independent artist, and it means that the whole work has been done only by him personally. This fact amazes even more, especially if we consider the quality of the recording and mastering. Realizing it all you can’t help wanting to take your hat off.