Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Feb 13th, 2017

BONOMO: Phases


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Adam Bonomo (the architect of the band), playing piano/organ and singing, and Andrew Renfroe on guitar make up the nucleus of the alternative-folk, Brooklyn-based duo BONOMO. Their new seven-song album, Phases, presents a very well-reasoned bunch of songs, showcasing exactly what this group is about: solid songwriting, good production, and smart playing. Beginning with a flicky-flappy “Home” this simple plink of the mix of Renfroe’s guitar and Bonomo’s piano is almost like a nursery-rhyme rumination about the wonders of our homes. The song “Redshifted” showcases lots of spikes of guitar and snappy drums, with Bonomo warbling through his lower range in the verses (I like his high voice ok, but overall I like when a singer showcases his range). I really like how this one spits and smacks, and Renfroe’s guitar moments are perfectly placed (lead and rhythm both) with a slowdown in the Grateful Dead/Band-like chorus that is wonderful. “Show Her Love” features drums and guitar, with a sadder vibe. Again, the duo keeps things understated, they make no grand statement with instruments or lyrics, but slip on up your leg to impart their wisdom and rhyme. Once again I feel like I’m listening to a nursery rhyme on ender “Baby’s Alright.” I like this last tune with the drums and guitar playing off each other. I almost hoped it might have stayed an instrumental as Bonomo’s singing doesn’t come in for a bit. The mid-70’s gospel feel is a nice touch to end what I feel is a very strong showing throughout Phases.

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BONOMO: Phases