On their second album, Apollo Suns has crafted an entertaining instrumental album, this time opting for a more jazzy sound, rather than the progressive rock approach they employed on their debut album. But, no matter how you cut it, Dawn Offerings is a delightful album that features talented musicians, bursting with talent. While this album will primarily appeal to jazz fans, I encourage everyone to listen to it because, simply put, it’s good music.
Dawning Offerings has a relatively short run-time, clocking in around the 20 minute mark. However, if you’re like me and wanted to hear more, this is the only negative thing about the album. Each song has a different feel, and collectively they flow well together creating an enjoyable, jazzy experience.
A number of brass instruments make an appearance on the album, offering their unique voices to the melody or adding a cute riff that sparkles above the rest of the band. Of course, the seductive, throaty call of a saxophone can be heard in addition to the drummer’s clamor. However, in a few cases, individual instruments steal the show a for a few moments. For example, the album features many trumpet hooks and solos that drive the songs forward and etch out the narrative the band is trying to explain.
Musically, the record has a big band feel with a prominent jazz element. That being said, the album has significantly less guitar work than the band’s debut album. But again, this isn’t a bad thing, its just different. Yet, at the end of the day, as founder and guitar player Ed Durocher told me in an interview:
“I dig the new direction…every album will be a constant evolution but still having a continuity to it. It will always be Apollo Suns at the heart.”
Songs Worth Investigating
I always find it very hard to highlight individual songs on short records. I feel that I shave away some value of the entire record when it do this, because in most cases (this one included) you have to listen to take in the entire album to understand the picture the band is trying to present. For example, if you don’t listen to “Dark Night” you’ll miss out on the nifty riff that permeates the entire song. These notes are few in number, but super catchy.
However, when push comes to shove, “A Song for Sterling” was one of my favorites. It begins with a snazzy guitar riff that is peppered across the rest of the album…and the song takes off from there with catchy licks and drum beats that remain in your head long after the song has concluded.
…And To Conclude
Dawn Offerings is a good album. It’s an exciting adventure with heavy jazz elements, no lyrics and numerous little hooks and melodies that embed themselves in your mind. Even if you don’t ordinarily like jazz, you should give this album a chance, because it is not “straight jazz”: there are aspects of other genres strewn across the music. Overall, Apollo Suns second record is a great album and a wonderful adventure.