Blue. Green. Aquamarine. (EP)

Terry Gomes

Independent release, 2015

http://www.terrygomes.com

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/03/2015

It would appear that Terry Gomes has fully moved into the second phase of his career.

Gomes’ first three albums followed an acoustic singer-songwriter pop-rock format with hints of country, but on 2013’s Shh he broke out of that mold a bit with hints of jazz and Latin music. Then, on last year’s The Sand In My Shoes EP, Gomes completely abandoned vocals and wrote five songs that fused jazz, Latin themes and a relaxed, positive vibe for which he is known.

It was a gutsy shift but a natural progression keeping in line with Gomes’ interests. The Sand was the album that Gomes had really always wanted to make, and so it seems logical that the follow-up would follow the same pattern. As with that disc, Blue. Green. Aquamarine both evokes the images of that colorful title in its five songs, which are separate but essentially work as one 20-minute song broken up into five sections.nbtc__dv_250

This also is the most ambitious Gomes has been with his sound. Although the five songs sound quite similar to each other, as well as to The Sand, the appealing Latin-jazz template is infused with congas and sax (on “Then She Danced”), trumpet (on “Quittin’ Time”), ukulele, timbalas, lots of acoustic guitars, and piano on “Not What I Thought It Would Be.” A couple of the songs have received Canadian airplay already, deservedly so.

The thing is, this is one of those discs you can listen to while doing anything. Driving with the top down and the sun shining? Perfect soundtrack. Cooking? Drinking wine on your patio/balcony? The inviting horns on “Then She Danced” fit any situation. Sure, this crosses into a sort of generic smooth jazz/stereotypical island music sound at times, mostly on “Never Been Better,” the weakest cut here. But most of it is joyous and reveals layers with each listen, such as the slight downshift on the final third of “Quittin’ Time” to an aqua melancholy or the languid confidence of “Oh, It’s You.”

Gomes’ music is full of joy, major chords and positivity radiating through each note (the exception being 2009’s Loose Ends, the gem of his early catalog), which makes the more serious songs stand out that much more. “Not What I Thought It Would Be” aptly summarizes the listener’s thoughts about the song; a lovely, slow piece, it could fill a smoky late-night lounge as well as dusk as the fire goes out and the couple in love slow dances in the sand. The imagination runs free as the song envelops your soul. It is four of the finest minutes Gomes has ever put to record, and as he enters his 10th year as a recording artist, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Perhaps combining both of these EPs into one normal length disc would have made more sense from an artistic and marketing standpoint, and that is up to Gomes to decide, although I think it would do well in certain markets here in the States. Four out of five songs makes for a solid EP in any sense. If this is the direction the artist is taking his career, based on the evidence at hand, I say keep it coming.

Rating: B+

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