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Silent Rider - Silent Rider Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 8.75
Production 8.25
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 86%
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Silent Rider - Silent Rider

Reviewed by: Gregory Robson (09/24/12)
Silent Rider - Silent Rider
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: Sept. 18, 2012


The amount of talent emerging from the borough of Brooklyn can often be overwhelming and daunting. Due to the sheer volume of emerging talent, more often than not an artist truly worthy of a close-up can often go unnoticed. The Brooklyn producer Reed Kackley teamed up with vocalist Michael Santiago and created the group Silent Rider. They are one such example of oft-overlooked Brooklynites. Kackley marries his razor sharp songwriting with Santiago's radio-ready vocals and a host of surging synths, nocturnal piano textures and brooding (and equally thumping) basslines. There's also a concussive and gritty drum tone too.

The disc opens with "All That You Know," which features three short strums that serve more or less as a siren to pay attention. Then piano jumps in, and then a slew of machinated noises. Somehow the song is only a minute in and already it has all the trappings of a winner. When Santiago's vocals kick in at the 1:15 mark, the song darts away and never disappoints. Of all the many opening tracks released this year, few if any shine as bright as "All That You Know." And sure enough, the disc is just getting started.

In the ensuing 38 minutes, he makes one heck of a statement. On the heels of "All That You Know," is the enveloping "Beggar," which drips with falsetto, a hook-heavy chorus and the kind of charisma and confidence that needs to be heard to be realized. To put it simply, this song needs to spread like wildfire. Falsetto returns on the dazzling "I Was a Bomb," a song in which Kackley's verses (and Santiago's vocals) take center stage. And it as this point that Silent Rider has pushed away from his contemporaries and moved into truly champion territory. "Dust on My Knees," is polished and profound, while "Shudder," is a psychedelic mindtrip.

Stepping away from narrative-driven electro-pop, Kackley offers up the gorgeous instrumental "Peace of Mind," a song that seems destined for late-night drives and autumn road trips. But perhaps the best part of "Peace of Mind," is that it serves as segue to the breathtaking "Dead Weight," a gorgeous song thick with attitude and fistfuls of charm. For those who enjoyed the falsetto on "Beggar," and "I Was a Bomb," it resurfaces on the down-tempo "Skin," a cut that seems tailor-made for a film soundtrack. For much of the duration of Silent Rider, one can't help but feel a sense of suave and bravado and the sensual "They Say It All," only elucidates that point further.

Silent Rider ends with the twinkly and gloaming "Out of Reach," and the histrionic and psychedelic "Heat." When Silent Rider finally grinds to a halt one can't help but feel a sense of awe and wonderment. Being that the album tackles a slew of heady themes (poverty, religion, sadomasochism, drug addiction, wayward youths, prostitution) the fact that the music itself is as indelible as it is serves as a testament to both Santiago and Kackley's inherent talents. Though it probably will stay criminally under the radar, Silent Rider is the arrival of a major player in the overcrowded Brooklyn indie scene.

Now what has to happen to give these guys their long-overdue close-up?

Recommended If You Like Miike Snow, James Blake, Massive Attack, Dan Nigro's Blocks, Broken Bells, Radiohead, SBTRKT


Find Him Here http://www.silentridermusic.com
 
Displaying posts 1 - 6 of 6.
11:36 AM on 09/25/12
#2
dotblob
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I totally love this album, but I'd like to call out an inaccuracy in your review.
The album was produced as a partnership between Reed Kackley and another producer, Michael Santiago. In fact, the vocals on the album that you mention in the review are Santiago's. I don't know if he's with the project any more, but if you go to a live show, you'll notice immediately that the vocals live from Kackley are not those on the album.
12:19 PM on 09/25/12
#3
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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I totally love this album, but I'd like to call out an inaccuracy in your review.
The album was produced as a partnership between Reed Kackley and another producer, Michael Santiago. In fact, the vocals on the album that you mention in the review are Santiago's. I don't know if he's with the project any more, but if you go to a live show, you'll notice immediately that the vocals live from Kackley are not those on the album.
Dude, thanks! I will totally fix that now. I really, really appreciate that.
12:20 PM on 09/25/12
#4
Quijiba
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This album is sweet. Real pleasant find.
12:27 PM on 09/25/12
#5
dotblob
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Dude, thanks! I will totally fix that now. I really, really appreciate that.
Happy to help! It's a really great album; I'm happy to see it's getting some press!
05:26 PM on 09/25/12
#6
JamieTheSonger
05 Fuck Em
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Can dig it.
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