Adam Bendy’s musical endeavors began when he took the role of bass player with the Long Island based rock quintet, a440, who toured extensively throughout the Northeast from 2001-2003 and recorded a self-titled album. From there, he performed with U-melt from 2003-2013. The New York City based jam quartet’s credits include several regional and nationally based tours throughout the US, as well as three album releases: The Unbelievable Meltdown, The I’s Mind, and Perfect World. Bendy continued his musical career with his project thinkbendy releasing the album CHANGE in 2017, and now presents his second full-length studio album with this project, The Essence of Time.
The Essence of Time being his second album is still a first where Bendy plays his native instrument, the bass, in addition to keys and singing vocals. On Time is of the Essence, Bendy raised the bar for himself finding inspiration for this project in an old drawing of his brother’s, featuring the car shown in CHANGE’s album art, as well.
To Bendy, it represents the deceptively large amount of free will we have to form our beliefs and use ordinary tools to reach extraordinary purposes. Collaborating with Bendy to depict and honor the freedom that DIY creates, Tiffany Lusht returns to design the album art here as well, giving us this modern-mythical image of billowing sails atop the car. Liner art features lyrics on an assortment of time-weathered pages seemingly spread across a navigator’s desk, proudly showing the curious beauty of objects that manage to survive years of wear and tear. Contributing to this album’s recording is longtime friend and collaborator Robert Salzer on guitar (from U-melt), jazz and orchestral drummer Devon Leigh, and guest musician Dr. Thomas Manuel on trumpet. Together they assemble to create Adam Bendy’s full-length second album in the thinkbendy project, The Essence of Time.
In Review: “The Essence of Time” is in my opinion a great album, using some calculated risks in reviving some of the 80’s composition structure made famous by artists like Billy Joel, Leon Redbone and Warren Zevon (my opinions here) he creates a fun and frisky sound that takes you in and bounces you around with the beats. There is some lyrical prowess similar top Joe Jackson and more modern artists like Weezer.
Opening with the track “Why This Way” we definitely hear the Long Island sound in his background, the song “One Day” reminds me of the album Cold Spring Harbor, one of Billy Joel’s earliest claims to fame, due to the inspirational music composition. The track “A Man, A Plan, A Canal Panama” has a big bouncy keyboard movement that swings in and out like the tide and takes you on an audio surf. “Time is Of the Essence” is a surrealistic jazz piece, with full breaths and it transitions perfectly into the final track Pot of Gold Blues, as one who grew up on Long Island myself, this is definitely the suburban workingman’s song of longing for the Goodlife, but working too hard to enjoy the life one has. Talking of this track, out of the album sequence is the song “Low Down”, which is also a very good song, but does not fit where it is, it should have been placed at the end of the album, completing the mix with the lyrics “Give me that Low Down of what’s been going on” which asks the listener “Have you been paying attention”
The Essence of Time is essential thinkbendy and is essential for your musical collection, if you love talented artists.
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