The time of full musical experience seems to be fading like the human race’s appreciation of one another. The times of holding an album sleeve in hand while having an album play out in a magical journey before your very ears, one complimenting the other, are seemingly a rare occurrence. So when you come across a gem of a record it makes it all that much more important.
What I thought was simply some neat artwork portraying urban development and some edgy font effects housing a random assortment of everyone’s vision for an album that seemed to be less of a single band’s sound and more of everyone wanting to get their two cents in turned out to prove that I can be wrong; very wrong.
Karikatura debuts in the recorded realm of full albums with Eyes Wide but they are certainly not new to the musical experience. World travels and multi-cultural learnings have led to a moment of thirteen songs that culminate as a sound built from the streets up. They capture that musical magic.
At the heart of Karikatura is the beat that moves in rhythm of the people of the world. It understands the simple beauties and the trying stresses. Their songs move in the sounds that have influenced them; not just with them. They are intertwined with an energy and tenacity that drives the sound of street smarts over teaching. Ultimately, this is a record that soars.
To make the most of Eyes Wide the five members of the band, Ryan Acquaotta, Dima Kay, Eric Legaspi, Joe Wilson and Morgan Greenstreet, all had a turn at writing at least one song for the album. This is what caught me off guard in the beginning; but shines in the end. Too many hands in the lead writing role can often end in a slap-dash sound. Not the case here. It actually brings to light how differently a sound can be portrayed lyrically while maintain its presence. From the hip-hop influences of the title track, to Russo-Klezmer style of “Brighton Beach,” to the salsa driven “Soy Quien Soy” to say there is a range to their approach is an understatement. To say it is anything but entertaining is a lie.
Trying to pinpoint the exact style of Karikatura is like saying with absolute certainty every single person in New York is the same. It is as vibrant as the neighborhoods are different. Sure there is a linear similarity, but on the whole each song is rich in its own way. Once you experience Eyes Wide you’ll understand the correlation between the music and art. This is one fun and meaningful experience you don’t want to miss.
Greg is a regular contributor and co-founder at Nanobot. He avidly believes in the magic of the entire musical experience.