10 years since their last album and, a premature break up later, Gabriel & Dresden unite once again to present us their latest offering – ‘The Only Road’. It was in the works since 2016 when the long lost duo broke their hiatus, decided to unite and produce a masterpiece. To fund this record, they started a rather humble $30,000 Kickstarter campaign, which to their shock was surpassed three time over. That is how much love and faith their friends and fans have in them, and they sure did deliver.
One must realise that Gabriel & Dresden are more like a genre by themselves. While they have heavy Progressive House and Trance influences, their music can not be generalised sonically. Instead, it is a rather beautiful cross-genre record which would interest most fans alike (Sorry 138 fam! Nothing hardcore here).
Tracks like ‘This Love Kills Me’,’Only Road’,’Waiting For Winter’ are the real stars of the show. The choice to collaborate with some of the best vocalists like Sub Teal, Jan Burton and Josh Gabriel himself were wise ones. While I could relate to most of the album, some tracks caught me totally off guard. ‘Underwater’ especially sounds very experimental. It just takes the album to another perspective, good or bad? Well that’s highly subjective. But we always love it when artists do something unusual, and break boundaries.
For me personally, ‘Sequoia’ and ‘Jupiter’ are the unsung heroes on the record. These tracks deserve much more love for sure as it’s on the ‘business side’ of the record. Then there are tracks like ‘Over Oceans’ which in my opinion shouldn’t have made it on the final cut. Produced and sounds like a Beatle-ish boy band, it absolutely ruins the flow and kills the deep vibe.
Do not get me wrong, the entire album is excellent and tasteful, but it’s just too much of too much and lacks core focus. Well it sure gives some variety, unlike those ‘monotonous’ albums, but the variation in poles apart. Maybe the experimental tracks should have been packaged separately in a ‘Deluxe Edition’. To sum it up, ‘The Only Road’ is – Massive, Beautiful, and Ambitious, But also at times – lost. It’s gives the freshest sounds, wants you to try new things, and most importantly – makes you smile.
Review by Hushrov Bhesania