17th Century Japanese Aviary might sound like a peculiar title for an album and to be frank this would be reflective of the album you can expect to hear. Rowland has a deeply unique sound and style that borders on being indescribable. His vocals are high, soft and slightly smoky around the edges, his words seem to hang and shimmer in the air before they commit themselves to your memory. His accompanying music is grandiose to say the least, adopting soaring orchestral sounds as his main partner throughout the album. Erring between simple, minimal guitar chords and this rich tapestry of accompanying sound brings his songs to life with a flourish. The sound is charming, enchanting and utterly fantastical. Listening to Rowland at work is akin to hearing the creation of a series of fairy tales.
Rowland has a deft hand when it comes to the creation of his lyrics as they carry within them a touching passion that is often shared with a rich sense of humour. Listening to 17th Century Japanese Aviary it is clear that Rowland shies away from nothing in life as he incorporates such a wide collection of sounds and even genres to create an album where each note perfectly compliments the next. The songs themselves seem to range from soft folk melodies such as the titled 17th Century Japanese Aviary to almost bluesy tunes like It is Time and there are songs such as The Ballad of the Ballroom Ghost and Masks of Winter that err more on the side of orchestral folk rock. He has such a depth and variety behind him and he excels at every one, his incredible talent shining through with each song.
17th Century Japanese Aviary does indeed bring to life a series of avian related songs such as Eyes of a Starling and The Golden Lark but beyond that it is a rich, broad and deeply stunning collection of songs from an astoundingly talented musician. Rowlands bright and thoughtful compositions have each been carefully constructed to create an album filled with a rich, swirling collection of songs that create within you a sense of wonder and merriment.
For more information on Inti Rowland, check out his website here: