Joseph Malik Aquarius Songs

Joseph Malik’s second album is equal parts jazzy torch songs and house tracks. The house tracks come in "Silent Fools,” whose beats are enlivened by percussive, jazzy snares and tom drums, as well as strong vocals and a lively trumpet solo, "Dream Dancer,” a pulsating deep house break-up song with some great loops, and "Believe and See,” a duet about the problems and entanglements that come with too much late-night clubbing. The torch songs are "Aquarius Song,” a political track that really could be out of the Age of Aquarius, and "Mistress Moonlight.” Many of the songs have a distinct anti-war tinge, especially "Casualties of War” and the added live version of "Race Relations.” It’s rare (and pleasant) to hear ambitious albums that reach high, with lots of singing and live instrumentation, especially in the string and horn sections. Overall, it’s more of a jazz album than an electronic album. The artwork suggests the sentiments are from the early ’70s, but the sounds are completely modern. (Compost)