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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Artist of the Day: Vacationer

Vacationer's Gone is the reason why you should still believe in the endless possibilities that music can present us.  Even though Gone combines the ambient, quirky, and sophisticated electronic sounds of Deerhunter and Animal Collective with the free-flowing, summery, and relaxing sounds of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dirty Gold, the sound isn't what the most special thing about Gone.  Even though Gone has phenomenal love songs ("Be With You" and "Dreamlike,") even though Gone has great and grandiose rock songs ("Summer End" and "Everyone Knows,") and even though Gone has one of the 10 best songs of the year ("Good As New"), none of this is what makes Gone so inspiring and so reassuring.  The reason Gone is so special is because of the people who are making the album.

Gone is fronted by Kenny Vasoli, who used to be the lead man for a pop-punk band called The Starting Line.  The magic of Gone is found in that it is the complete opposite of a pop-punk album and is still done brilliantly. Vasoli sounds like he has been the lead singer of an indie pop band for years and he has created one of the genre's best albums of the year so far.  He has completely changed his songwriting style, has changed his vocals to match his new bands new style of instrumentation, and has adapted to a totally new style of music about as perfectly as anyone can hope for.  Vasoli created a quality indie pop album that most indie lifers could not even conceive of creating and he did it without limiting himself creatively.  Vasoli could have easily stayed in his pop-punk niche forever and he would been successful and his music would have accepted.  But Vasoli decided to change to indie-pop, this making him one of the few individuals who has been able to master two genres.

Gone is one of those albums that is so relaxing, "summery," and unassuming that there is a good chance that the albums eleven tracks will just "wash over you."  But the true accomplishment of Gone, the fact that Kenny Vasoli has worked so hard to master this new "washing over you" sound, should never be lost on the listener.  In fact, this should give us all hope that musicians who are more than simply "one genre ponies" still exist.

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