Scott D. Strader | The Journalist

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United States - Georgia

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Rock: Progressive Rock Rock: Rock opera Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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The Journalist

by Scott D. Strader

Frenetic and meditative piano rock--redeems the over-ambition of classic Art Rock with mature compositions and Lo-fi sensibility. All this wrapped up in a modern rock opera.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Believe
5:32 $0.99
2. My Beautiful Day
5:26 $0.99
3. Falling
4:53 $0.99
4. The Crossing
3:38 $0.99
5. From the Heartland
2:35 $0.99
6. The Photograph
6:00 $0.99
7. The Map
6:20 $0.99
8. Through the Woods
8:13 $0.99
9. Where Was I?
1:36 $0.99
10. (coda)
5:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Journalist is a story with music. That's what's important.

The rock opera is recorded for piano and voice and tells the story of a photojournalist caught in a conspiracy as he attempts to find meaning in his life. In Part I, he travels overseas and takes a picture of an object certain others wish was kept a secret. In Part II, he flees home hoping to escape his fate and the burden of the image he carries with him. It's classic action movie fare with its own rock soundtrack.

Since I started listening to music, I wanted to write a rock opera or concept album. Through college bands and one my own, I wrote a few pop songs here and there but never created a large volume of work. Because of this, I felt that I wasn't ready to tackle a full-length album/CD and definitely not a rock opera. Well, thanks to a recent bout of unemployment, I decided to dive in and wrote The Journalist in a little over a month. There's a moral in there somewhere.

The germ of a story about a photojournalist came to me a couple of years ago, but I couldn't get a song from it in its original form. I finally modified the original concept and fleshed it out as a complete drama that became The Journalist. Purists may complain about the tag "rock opera," since there's only one character narrating as the story unfolds, but it's the simplest, best tag for what the CD offers. It's the story that's important.

And the music, of course. The Journalist was written for piano and voice. The style is influenced by classical and jazz, but definitely ends up as rock. You'll hear some Discipline-era King Crimson, some Philip Glass technique, and some 70s-era Genesis, although it's probably more pop-based than any of those influences. There are a few Tony Banks' compositions that were the greatest inspiration ("One for the Vine" is top-of-the-list for musical stories), and I'm really indebted to him for that inspiration. All of the songs freely share musical themes and progressions-beyond the story, that's probably the most defining aspect that holds the work together as a whole, and the shared themes and varied arrangements are probably the most defining traits inherited from Art Rock.

Which gets us to the recording. This is not a slick studio recording, it's a home recording, and I can only defend it with the principles of Lo-fi: the music is what's important, and the studio polish is secondary. This philosophy is not for everyone (e.g. Eno's approach that the-studio-is-the-instrument), but it works for The Journalist. The music and story will make you forget about polish and decide to just listen. Just as a poor recording can get in the way of hearing good music, a polished recording can hide poor music. The Journalist is somewhere in between but is eminently listenable on both points.

So, enjoy the story-and the music.

And be sure save up your dollars and cents for the next rock opera: The Silent Spectrum. It's the story of an evil genius who tries to take over the world and can only be stopped by some meddling kids in a rock band. Wacky!

(No, I'm serious. Watch for it early next year.)



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