Rob Diener & Anomaly,
Some Assembly Required
(independent, 2006)

The brass instruments step to the fore in Some Assembly Required, and while Rob Diener and Anomaly have created a decent album, it is not a must-listen experience. The music is steady but sometimes lacks the flair that makes the difference between good and great.

The bits of record scratching that show up in "A Musical Salute to Iceland (Our Friends to the North)" add to the funk feel of the piece. The horns also bring out the lounge feel of the number and the two styles flow into each other. "Pop-Bop" has more of a jazz-bop feel, with the beat in the background bringing out the bop in this tune. The horns caress the melody of "Bye Bye Blackbird," letting you feel where the words fit into the music. There are also several changes as to which instruments carry the melody and the style changes with that.

The melody idles along in "Ode to Husqvarna" to begin with, then shifts up-tempo with the initial phrasing returning over subsequent lines. The various stylistic changes within the piece lack the visual cues they would have in a live performance as the focus moves among various instruments. Without that visual cuing of focus, the piece tries to do too much. The focus narrows for "Scooter to Stretch," which is a jazz march for the most part but the blues guitar shows up for a spell.

The gentle tempo of "From the Heart" lets the melody sing, and it comes in sharp contrast to all the previous pieces. The music swings back to funk for "Mikey's House," and the measured beat that runs through helps tie the modes together. There are three separate themes forming "The Three Brothers (from a Dysfunctional Family)" and the focus switches between them throughout the piece.

Some of the pieces on Some Assembly Required are good, but at other times Diener and the band try to put too much into the piece. It leaves one feeling the CD could be better than it is in the end.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Paul de Bruijn

16 February 2008

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new