"Nightlights and Melted Ice is a symbolism of hope in the dark; of taking steps on faith and the hope of new life after the winter has come to an end." Jordan Critz
I review music that I love. I treasure artistic projects that are fun and philosophical. My collection cannot be separated into genres titled rock, pop, alternative or classical. They all meld together to create the soundtrack of my life. I look for artists and compilations that give me hope in times of depression, provide me courage when it seems I will never find mine again, and celebrate my best of times with entrancing melodies and intense lyrics.
Jordan Critz is one such artist and his new work, Nightlights & Melted Ice, is such a compilation.
This week, I’ve spent a lot of time with Jordan Critz. My ears and eyes have devoured his music and his stories. No, I didn’t meet him; I’ve never talked to him in person unless you count a simple MySpace message. See, I feel like I’ve met Jordan because for five days, I listened to his art, watched videos, and read visitor comments on his MySpace page. After all of my ear and cyber spying – I’ve found Jordan Critz to be incredibly talented, honest and intense. (Should I add handsome?) I also know that he has a seven foot poster of himself (promotional material) and a great sense of humor. Oh, and he keeps busy.
Jordan began with the classics – training in classical piano and guitar. He didn’t jump into the pop or rock categories; he simply walked in because he followed the direction of his art. He writes music and lyrics, and has composed for corporate advertising sponsors such as Porsche, Mini Cooper, CBS and Care Now. He has also done soundtrack work for documentaries and has an awesome experimental project you can find on iTunes: Creation – a Musical Landscape. Let me take a breath – okay, he owns Third Orbit Studios in Dallas, Texas, he produces and works with other upcoming artists and bands, and he is the worship pastor at Cross Timbers Community Church which has three campuses in North Texas.
I hesitate to compare Jordan Critz to any other artist, but I really want you to know what to expect from this new project. So, here I go. Imagine this equation: the piano playing of Bruce Hornsby, the voice of Adam Duritz (Counting Crows), the energy and humor of Toad the Wet Sprocket, the attentiveness to lyric writing of Bernie Taupin and Elton John and the composing genius of Danny Elfman. Mix together, just a bit from each, and you have a small part of the amazing and individualist talent of Jordan Critz.
I’m fighting hard as I write this to give justice to describing the music and what it sounds like. I’m not a musician, I don’t know the right terms. I just know how it makes me feel. The piano with electric and acoustic guitars, the drums that are quiet with simple soft brushes when they need to be before fading "up" into stick rhythmic beats at the right moments. There’s even a glockenspiel on this CD! How cool. The combination of the instruments, the arrangement, Jordan’s voice and the overall artistic presentation of this CD made my ears very happy.
I define Nightlights & Melted Ice as a 13 song soundtrack for the change from winter to spring. You know how sometimes the sun ignores the leftover snow piles on the ground and teases us by lending its warm rays in late March or early April? That’s where this CD comes in. Jordan finds a way to musically weave, not just the desire for a new season or new beginning, but a comforting knowledge that it’s indeed on its way.
These songs told me a story about myself:
“Cold Sunshine” – This song made me think of last winter when the sun was so beautiful and I wanted to write outside. So, I bundled in some sweaters and settled with a notebook in our backyard. That beautiful bright sun was cold. I didn’t write long.
“Off My Mind” – You can see a preview of Jordan play the beginning of this song on his MySpace page. It’s incredible. His hands move so fast. This intro is filled with energy; I kept starting the song over and over.
“The Line” – “Can I go back to the place and time”. Wow, how many times have I asked that? I have often wished for a line to start from again.
“Every Moment” – In my mind, I heard a clock ticking at the beginning of this song.
“Brand New Day” – This lyric was breath taking. “I see your eyes as broken lights, the water raining inside.” Wow. Is there not a novel to be written from that one line?
“Begin Again” – I heard rain at the beginning of this song. It’s like raindrops were falling on the keys of Jordan’s piano.
“Until We Meet Again” – I have a friend in Virginia who can always make me smile and find sense when I can only find nonsense. We talk almost daily and visit each other quite often. Those conversations and times together give me kick starts for creative periods – until we meet again.
I want to thank Jordan Critz for visiting BellaOnline.com. It was a pleasure to review your work. Did I hear a snippet of a Christmas song? Could there be a Christmas album? Please let us know!
*Check out Jordan Critz at his MySpace page – www.myspace.com/jordancritz. The link is also listed below. You can preview some of his songs and there’s a link to buy the CD.
Have a great weekend!