Brooklyn-based duo Bonomo’s debut album “Phases” is a blend of elements of folk and jazz with singer-songwriter style of music-making. The album from vocalist and pianist Adam Bonomo and guitarist Andrew Renfroe takes the listener on a journey from lively, upbeat tracks to a relaxed, chilled-out feel.
Accompanying the piano on “Home,” the album’s opening track, is a simple yet effective pattern plucked on the guitar. Bonomo’s lyrics reflect on the emotions generated by searching for home and returning after a long time.
“Water” is the group’s lead single and their first music video, which features pictures of people throughout New York. The guitar and percussion on this track give it a slightly jazzy flavour, while Bonomo’s high-pitched, floating vocals fit perfectly.
The tempo slows down for “Redshifted,” which features melodic harmonies in the chorus contrasting with the steady rhythm of the tune. This is followed by “Do Need” and “Show her Love,” two tracks which conform perhaps more than any of the others to a pop/acoustic rock style. The first contains a thoughtful, even meditative quality, while “Show her Love” is much more fast-paced with a guitar and piano accompaniment.
There’s something dreamlike about “Repeating,” with the guitar providing a simple backdrop to Bonomo’s vocals. It is continued with the album’s closing track, “Baby’s Alright,” which appropriately enough for the title contains a refrain in the chorus sounding almost like a lullaby to say that the baby is asleep.
A promising debut release, “Phases” is a fresh-sounding album, especially in its opening tracks. The middle part swings just a bit too far into the mainstream acoustic pop genre, but the last two tracks are a return to form, with the stripped-down, relaxed style well suited to Adam Bonomo’s vocals.