Joe Raven | Dielectric

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United States - Washington

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Pop: Piano Easy Listening: Lounge Moods: Solo Male Artist
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by Joe Raven

Music and melody uniquely crafted together with an in-the-moment presence and awareness of the dynamics of emotion.
Genre: Pop: Piano
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Out of the Park
3:56 album only
2. Apology
5:07 album only
3. Brand New Blade
5:33 album only
4. Back in the World
4:19 album only
5. Red Carpet Ride
5:24 album only
6. Dog's Life
6:31 album only
7. Whisper Goodbye
5:19 album only
8. Only Me
6:18 album only


Album Notes
A person and an instrument. Ten fingers and a voice. That is the default situation for any songwriter, Joe Raven included. After playing keyboards in a host of electrified bands in the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest over the past twenty years, he decided he needed a reset. Having saved up a few years worth of scribblings and feeling a visceral creative tug, he took a few sick days off work, descended into his Seattle basement. With a rented two-track recorder and little sleep, he put down his first, mostly-acoustic release, "Dielectric."

"I just wanted to do something basic. I had these ideas that I wanted to put down in a very simple, honest way," Joe says of his efforts. "So I holed up for a few days and pulled out, kicking and screaming, what was inside of me."

What he found inside is longing. Longing for a world without complications, as in "Out of the Park": "Take me out of this world/Like a ball hit out the park/Found by a preacher." He also found longing for acceptance, as in the self-examining "Apology": "Here I am again/Feeling like a nobody ... Don't let it get you down." Likewise, he found longing to accept, as in "Whisper Goodbye," in which a loved one quietly slips away. Is it death, or a break-up? The lyrics aren't clear, but the meloncholy tone of the song is crystalline.

So are the hooks, which aren't in short supply on the album. The vocals on "Whisper Goodbye" reminds of the promise of -- yes, the name can be said -- Barry Manilow, had he the inclination to write songs with more substance and less saccharine. Midwestern shadings reminiscent of Marc Cohn or Bruce Hornsby also bleed copiously into the keyboard riffs (Raven hails from South Dakota), but the comparison only goes so far. Both play things too safe to precede a happy, VH-1-ready bridge with the emotional honesty of "It's just my way of feeling better about the world around me/Moving in to take away my soul."

Such contradictions pervade the disc from the title down. Dielectric is a word for substances that don't conduct electricity; yet, dielectrics are vital to making recordings. Every wire needs an insulating shield from the power of other wires, to prevent meltdown. For Raven, the acoustic trappings have the same effect. The songs provide protection against the powerful longings of the human heart, taking the potential for destruction and channeling it into understanding.



to write a review

Dave Scriber

A highly recommended CD for those who feel and bask in emotion.
I love melody. I'm a sucker for it. I love the melody all over this CD. Great keyboard playing as well. I like the sadness in alot of CD's. Raven pulls it off, one of those few CD's where you get a glimpse of this wonderful human being, as well as a legimate artist who has something to say. highly recommeded.

Carlee Henson

It just makes you feel good...
I saw Joe play live and really enjoyed his performance so I bought this the last few weeks I find myself grabbing it more than any other CD in my collection. The songs just make you feel good. Simple piano and voice--songs with a story that make you want to listen. It is WELL worth the money.