AU ABROAD

Youri Blow - The Corridor (2010 LP)

The process leading up to the recording and release of his new album, The Corridor, was a little different for Youri Blow than it is for most artists. He spent two years in solitude and went to Mongolia to live with the Tsaatane tribe.

This experience has obviously permeated his song writing. He crosses so many genres in this album that it’s not easy to define exactly what type of music he plays. Perhaps it’s best to describe it as psychedelic blues with a strong world music influence and folk style. Not straight forward.

It makes for an incredibly interesting album though. With a distinct focus on the musical side of the tracks, Youri takes only a few instruments and creates beautifully intricate arrangements that take the listener on a journey.

The guitar work on The Corridor should be pointed out here. With many of the tracks being very guitar driven, this is the instrument that most stands out. However, it’s not just the prevalence of the guitars that makes them noticeable, it’s the talent with which they’re played. Tracks like album opener, "Ever Love", title track "The Corridor", and "Strange History" really highlight this.

From a young age, Youri was influenced by artists like Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix. These influences all come through strongly on The Corridor, but particularly, there are times throughout the album when there is a distinct 60s feel. This style obviously derives from Youri’s psychedelic influences and love for Jimi Hendrix. It is most noticeable on tracks like "Salmon Dreams" and "Ever Love".

At times it is difficult to understand the distorted vocals on the tracks. However, with such a strong focus on the music, and the quality of the music itself, this certainly doesn’t take away from the songs. If anything, it adds to the atmosphere and mystery that surrounds the tracks.

Overall, with The Corridor, Youri Blow has created an intricate and elegant album, full of fantastic arrangements and a distinct atmosphere.

Review Score: 7.5/10