Band: Leon Alvarado
CD Title: The Future Left Behind
Label: Melodic Revolution Records (2016)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
Here’s album number four for keyboardist Leon Alvarado and its entitled The Future Left Behind. This is a concept album of fourteen tracks, clocking in at forty-one minutes that looks at the idea of what we think of the people left behind after others depart a decaying earth. It’s a fascinating idea and it’s the short spoken word bits that hold together the eight instrumental tracks. Alvarado is the first to suggest there is a challenge creating instrumental music that holds together around a written idea but here I think he acquits himself nicely. Certainly the dialog helps propel the story line but thematically the musical compositions reflect where we are in the story line. It is as if we’re experiencing a movie with our eyes closed and all we hear is the soundtrack. Now to my mind whether you have lyrics or not that is what a great concept album should be. Alvarado has the help on this record of heavy-weights Billy Sherwood and Rick Wakeman and to whatever degree he responded to their input the sounds generated do give off a subtle YES vibe. Most of these songs are in the six-minute range and as you might expect given Alvarado’s keyboard style are nicely orchestrated. Musically while there are multiple layers of instrument sounds, guitars and keyboard interplay, the compositions themselves are not overly complex or full of too many notes. This is music rather that relies on creating moods and atmospheres that will remind you of some of Rick Wakeman’s early work like No Earthly Connection. It’s good stuff, I really enjoyed the cinematic scope of The Future Left Behind and like any good movie the story comes with a bit of twist ending. I liked that a lot and I also liked Alvarado’s musical approach. Well done - I recommend you check it out.