Color Theory Adjustments Pt. 3 Review
As the most established artist on our “New Artists for 2016 – Our Top 10” list, Brian Hazard’s Color Theory is no stranger to Rated Sound. Color Theory Adjustments Pt. 3, as the name suggests, is the third and final instalment of Brian Hazard’s excellent Adjustments electronic dance music series. It probably goes without saying that if you liked parts one and two you’re going to love part three.
The format is familiar; we get five new songs (no “unapologetic” Barry Manilow cover this time!) and five companion remixes of each original. This time, the Color Theory remix collaborators are: Lyder Janøy, Memoryy, Rafael Dyll and Odd Year. While it’s always a treat to hear new Color Theory material, and this is the best part of the EP here, these remixes really offer something different to the originals and present the music from a new and interesting angle.
For the five original pieces, Color Theory Adjustments Pt. 3 takes us through electronic dance music, modern electro pop, and some good old-fashioned synthesizer magic. The moody and elusive openers Playing Favorites and OBE give way to the slow burning infectious groove of A Work in Progress with its veiled expression of vulnerability.
It’s a tough call but my highlight of Color Theory Adjustments Pt. 3 is Half. This demonstrates Brian Hazard as a maestro of electronic dance music and electro pop in general. The synthesizer melody shows off those classical influences and moulds them into a great pop tune. The lyrics are brief here but the economy of words helps to get the message across.
The final original is the minor epic The Light Inside. A beautifully fragile piano-led ballad and an ambitious way to sign off Color Theory Adjustments Pt. 3. Except that we don’t really sign off at this point. We get five remixes that shed new light on the songs and approach the music from a different angle. The mark of a good remix is when the result doesn’t diminish the artist’s identity, it enhances it. That is very much the case here.
Color Theory Adjustments Pt. 3 offers all of the innovative synth pop/electronic dance music/electronic music or however you care to categorise it from Color Theory. However, one thing that must be highlighted from this release is how good a lyricist Brian Hazard is. It’s a testament when just reading through the lyrics alone is an absorbing activity in itself. Brian Hazard’s work is sometimes reminiscent of that other great electronic dance music troubadour, John Grant but without any of the bitterness.
With Color Theory Adjustments Pt. 3, Brian Hazard develops the themes and atmosphere of the previous albums. Interested and addictive melodies are woven together with arrangements that hint at a broad set of influences to create stunning soundscapes. You can listen to Adjustments Pt. 3 at the Color Theory website, and I’d highly recommend that you do so now!
Rated Sound gives Color Theory Adjustments Pt. 3 a rating of 9/10.
Color Theory Adjustments Pt. 3 (2015) Track Listing
1. Playing Favorites
3. A Work in Progress
5. The Light Inside
6. Playing Favorites (Lyder Janøy Remix)
7. OBE (Memoryy Remix)
8. A Work in Progress (Rafael Dyll Remix)
9. Half (Odd Year Remix)
10. The Light Inside (Lyder Janøy Remix)