Tobin Mueller | Wonder

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Rock: Progressive Rock Rock: Modern Rock Moods: Mood: Virtuoso
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Wonder

by Tobin Mueller

28 track Progressive Rock tour de force. "A breathtaking array of music." Mueller brings his jazz chops to Prog, interweaving rock opera, pop anthems and epic instrumentals. "Wonder" means astonishment, curiosity, awe... all reflected in this music.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. When the Future Comes (feat. Anton Mueller & Audiocracy)
7:38 $0.99
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2. Let the Rumpus Begin (feat. Lennon Loveday)
2:34 $0.99
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3. Rebellion Is a Lullaby (To the Boy Inside) [feat. Anton Mueller, Darren Chapman & Audiocracy]
6:14 $0.99
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4. Rock the Baby (feat. African Wêreld Choir)
2:35 $0.99
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5. Escaping the Fray Zone
9:31 $0.99
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6. Speak Truth to Power (feat. Anton Mueller, Darren Chapman & Audiocracy)
4:41 $0.99
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7. The Long Sleep
2:14 $0.99
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8. Dare to Sing (feat. Anton Mueller, Tadashi Togawa & Audiocracy)
6:39 $0.99
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9. Ascent of Awe (feat. Steve Stone)
5:34 $0.99
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10. Gethsemane Revisited (feat. Anton Mueller)
4:29 $0.99
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11. I Won't Leave You (feat. Michael Seelbach & Emily Rohm)
5:06 $0.99
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12. I Won't Leave You (Instrumental)
5:32 $0.99
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13. Before There Were Gods (feat. Michael Hedges)
6:11 $0.99
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14. Pandora's Box (feat. Lennon Loveday)
1:56 $0.99
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15. Puzzle City (feat. Anton Mueller, Bob Piper & Scott Rockenfield)
2:27 $0.99
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16. Lilith's Lament
2:21 $0.99
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17. Was There Once a Time
3:37 $0.99
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18. Chaos Is a Ladder
5:38 $0.99
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19. Dreams (Awake to Me) [feat. Aaron Paul]
2:09 $0.99
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20. Out of Toyland
4:04 $0.99
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21. What Thou Lovest Well
4:28 $0.99
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22. Merlin's Awakening
5:41 $0.99
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23. Let Yourself Dream
3:28 $0.99
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24. Lady of the Lake (feat. Mystified)
2:04 $0.99
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25. Pull Me Home
4:34 $0.99
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26. What I Was Thinking While You Were Talking (feat. Fran Dagostino)
4:16 $0.99
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27. Loolay Lullaby
2:50 $0.99
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28. God Bless America
0:43 FREE
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Fusing the power of progressive rock with the nurturing affection of lullabies, WONDER is an epic 28 track 2-volume tour de force. "A breathtaking array of music." Featuring appearances by Scott Rockenfield, Michael Hedges, Steve Stone, Aaron Paul, Mystified, Emily Rohm, Audiocracy, Shadow of Nine and more.

Following on the heels of his successful jazz double album STANDARD DEVIATIONS, Muellers has turned his virtuosic chops to Progressive Rock and Pop Fusion. The songs are full of complex tapestries of layered vocals, guitars, keyboards and percussion. The instrumentals merge electronica with full orchestra. Mueller exemplifies both definitions of 'wonder' with each composition...

WONDER:
1) a feeling of astonishment mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar or inexplicable;
2) or, a feeling of doubt and uncertainty sparking curiosity.

What began as an homage to youthful emergence grew into much more. There is a political aspect to this music, tempered by innocence, thoughfulness and love. Themes of independence are coupled with those of reliance and need. Naiveté is shadowed by the weight of experience. Awe expands into transcendence and redemption. Complexity gives way to symplicity then returns again. The album cycles between vocal pieces and instrumentals. This gives listeners a chance to contemplate, to daydream, to create a storyline, to view the journey from many perspectives.

Wonder and curiosity permeate the album. The cover-art is a portrait of Mueller's granddaughter, Laura, the daughter of Tobin's son Anton (featured vocalist on several songs). The back cover features Nora, daughter of Tobin's son Will (a doctorate in biology but also an excellent drummer).

Progressive Rock evolved at the crossroads of rock, jazz and classical music, infusing rock with a new sense virtuosity. It is inherently melodramatic, embodying the granduer of opera, the intricacy of the Baroque, the power of heavy metal. Many prog-rock albums celebrate classical myths and theatrical narratives. Wonder follows in that tradition, melding all these traits. It is expansive, experimental, enthusiastic and uplifting. It is also cautionary and caring. The scope of this collection is invigorating, a testament to the best aspects of bewilderment and efflorescence.

The physical CD comes on two discs: Volume One consists of tracks 1-12; Volume Two are tracks 13-28.

WONDER is produced by Kenny Cash, Factory Underground Studios. Cash also produced Mueller's previous albums: Standard Deviations, Afterwords, Of Two Minds and Flow.

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
If there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that Tobin Mueller is one of the most versatile and eclectic artists out there, his new double-album, "Wonder," will quickly remedy that situation! With just under two hours of music, the collection is made up of twenty-eight vocal and instrumental pieces, many of which are in a prog rock style, that date back as far as 1976. All are new recordings and/or new arrangements of music from previous albums, some of Mueller’s nine musicals, collaborative projects and more.

Volume 1 contains twelve tracks, six of which are new versions of songs that appeared on Mueller’s 2008 "Revolution’s Son" collaborative album under the artist name “Audiocracy.” The band includes Mueller’s son, Anton Mueller on guitar and vocals, Bob Piper on electric guitar, Rob Thurman on drums and, Tobin Mueller on piano, organ, synths and vocals. Some of these songs have been shortened and have new piano additions. Titles include “When The Future Comes,” “Rebellion is a Lullaby (to the boy inside),” “Escaping the Fray Zone,” “Speak Truth To Power” and “Dare to Sing,” and there is a lot of raw power in the music as well as the lyrics. The sixth piece from Revolution’s Son, “Gethsemane Revisited,” was edited, remastered and renamed and is an interpretation of “the moment God decides to remain silent and leaves his Son to decide for himself.” Other tracks on this disc include “Let the Rumpus Begin,” a celebration of playing; “Rock the Baby,” a collaboration with The African Wereld Choir; and my favorite, “The Long Sleep,” a “New Orleans funeral second line procession.” There are also two versions of the very beautiful “I Won’t Leave You,” one instrumental and one vocal, from two of Mueller’s musicals, "Creature" and "Runners In a Dream."

If it’s possible, Volume 2 is even more diverse with sixteen tracks. “Before There Were Gods” is essentially a trio with the late Michael Hedges (acoustic guitar) and George Winston (fretless bass). Adapted from Hedges’ instrumental, “Lenona” (1981) (with permission, of course!), Mueller’s lyrics transform the piece into a hauntingly beautiful love song. “Pandora’s Box” is a prog rock collaboration with the Canadian duo, Shadow of Nine. “Was There Once A Time” is one of my favorites of Mueller’s songs. Written shortly after 9/11, the lyrics reflect on the loss and confusion of those days. “Chaos Is a Ladder” combines two instrumentals that were composed for "Merlyn," a musical Mueller never finished. Organ, piano and orchestrations were all performed by Mueller for this track. Several other tracks originated with "Merlyn," too, including the symphonic “Lady of the Lake” with haunting vocalese by Mystified - another favorite! Full of love, tenderness and hope, “Loolay Lullaby” was composed in 1985 for Mueller’s second son, William. The closing track is a gem! It is an a cappella performance of Mueller’s daughter, Dale, singing “God Bless America” - when she was 3! What a sweet ending for this fascinating compilation of Tobin Mueller’s work!
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