If you are an avid lover of bagpipes or any type of Celtic-infused music, Thomas Lukassek’s Reed Adventures may be right up your alley. He relies on his faithful bagpipes everywhere he turns throughout the album. And given that the album has no actual words or lyrics, he lets his instruments do all of the talking for him. Lukassek does not simply use a single type of bagpipe, however. Instead, he delves into the sounds of various types, such as the Highland, Lowland, and Uillean bagpipes, over the course of the album, oftentimes overlapping one sound with another.
If you are not too keen on bagpipes this album might not be especially for you. In other words, you have to be able to truly enjoy them unless you want to be pulling your hair out by the third song. However, even those who believe they are opposed to the sound of bagpipes may just find that they have been opened to a new and unique sound after getting a taste of his album. He has managed to take bagpipes out of their normal stereotype and do something that is relatively original and distinctive, giving it a sound that can potentially be enjoyed by people with a number of musical preferences.
“Bag Blues” is just what the title suggests. Lukassek combines the bagpipe and electric guitar to produce his own interpretation of a rock and roll, blues-type song. The melody of “Sunday Afternoon” goes seamlessly along with its title as well. If you were to get wrapped up in the song, its mellow characteristics could persuade you to believe that you were unwinding on a carefree Sunday afternoon. The subtle sound of waves, soft, flowing tone, and gentle guitar picking make it sound as if it could easily fit into a relaxation or meditation CD.With such an interesting title, it is only fitting that “Spam Lawyer and Tackle ‘Barry Win” have a similarly attention-grabbing melody. He sets the background with a steady, yet still compelling acoustic guitar loop and carries the song yet again with his pipes. This time though, he adds a guitar solo composed of quick finger picking that soon revs right back up into the heart of the song.
“For Ireland I’ll Not Tell Her Name” is a song that seems to just ache for the accompaniment of lyrics. The song has ideal high and low points in its tones where words would be able to perfectly intertwine. This is not to say that the instrumentation is by any means poor in itself. In fact, he has done such a superior job with it that you can almost picture a voice singing along, hitting the same notes and pitches as the bagpipe. The songs on here range in length, varying anywhere from a mere two minutes to a whole six minutes. The album’s title track, “Reed Adventures,” is of the two minute variety. It is another more rock sounding song, but the melody continues relatively similarly throughout, not wavering much save for a harp solo within the middle.Lukassek experiments with various sounds and genres that all circle around one singular point, the bagpipe, which is what makes his album title even more fitting. But by combining various bagpipes as well as other more common instruments such as guitars and drums he creates a rock album, more or less. It is not merely a rock album, though. With it, he explores the sounds of his instruments and in doing so creates songs ranging from Celtic and rock to blues and even a touch of folk.
Review by Alec CunninghamRating: 4 stars (out of 5)