"Chameleon in Disguise" (Self-produced; 2006)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I was lucky enough to be afforded the opportunity to review Rullian’s debut CD, “Is This My Guitar or An Albatross?”, way back in 2002. As we move forward and 2006 comes to a close I am happy to have the pleasure of reviewing Rullian’s latest effort, “Chameleon In Disguise.”

As was indicated on “Is This My Guitar or An Albatross” Roaul’s creativity knows no bounds – “Chameleon In Disguise” is more evidence of that. Roaul has the skills and knowledge to exploit that creativity into unique nuggets of musical sound. He likes to describe his efforts as music for the soundtrack minded – not that I disagree, but what I hear is sonic ruminations melded and orchestrated into joyful, often playful, songs.  Sonic territory explored includes everything from rave-ups, to swinging jazz, to sweet ballads, to bouncing funk, to quasi-techno outbursts, to various forms of world music, and straight-ahead rockers – it’s all included on “Chameleon In Disguise.”

Certain tracks herk and jerk like involuntary spasms – and I mean that in the best way possible. Whether a seamless transition or a deliberate attempt to infuse the listener with juxtaposed sound, “Chameleon In Disguise” begs to be heard. It’s an imaginative tour de force. I’m not culturally adept and I would be an absolutely failure at “Name That Tune.” As such, I’m sure there are musical references to TV show themes, commercial jingles, and other similar and familiar melodies that just completely escape me at the moment.

Rullian’s “Chameleon In Disguise” would be a welcome addition to the CD collection of any fan who appreciates instrumental music.

Support a good cause – all proceeds (not just profits) from the sale of “Chameleon In Disguise” go to the Humane Society.

Rullian is Roaul kicking ass at most everything. Assistance provided by Charlie Alvarez on bass, Chris Williams on bass, Luke Kelly on piano and keyboards, Ann Hackman on violin and viola, Chris LeRoy on piano and keyboards, and Will Bagby on drums and bongos.

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"Is This My Guitar or an Albatross" (Self-produced; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Raoul Ranoa, who has played with Funkin'A, Bad Poetry and Fries With That, is an instrumental guitarist who plays for fun rather than critical acclaim and recognition. Despite all that, Renoa has managed to release a CD full of great songs and joyful spirit that is a pleasure to listen to.

"Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?" features a diverse set of tracks; so diverse that literally no style is repeated on another track - and for once it works in the artist's favor. "Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?" contains seventeen tracks with lengths varying from twenty-four seconds to nearly ten-minutes. Here's a simple description of the songs: from the Egyptian melody/Latin percussion fusion of "Enter The Sudo" to the Joe Satriani-vibe of "Eastbound By Midnight" to the Southwest rock/blues-mania of "95 Percent Bliss" to buzzed frenzy of the title track this disc covers a lot of ground - and that's just the first four tracks! Other great tracks include "The Laundry Song" and the epic "Symphony In Cyan."

While some of the songs echo their inspirational geneses a little too closely it's never for the worse as the songs are usually self-contained journeys with logical beginnings, middles, and endings (even if Ranoa doesn't think so).

At all times Rullian's material is playful and thoughtful - and a joy to listen to. It helps that I am a fan of instrumental guitar albums, but a lot of the stuff I get for review is rarely listened to more than the minimum number of times to write a decent review. "Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?" is a wonderful exception to the reality of having too many CDs that fail to make it back into my regular listening rotation.

Fans of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Danny Gatton, Michael Lee Firkins, and Joboj will like Rullian's "Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?"

"Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?" was produced, engineered and mixed by Raoul Ranoa and Maria Baglien.

Rullian is Raoul Renoa on just about everything with assistance from Wayne Woodall on drums and percussion, James Folmer on piano and keyboards, Charlie Alvarez on bass, Chris Williams on bass, Ann Lasley on violin and viola, Dino Baldwin on bass, Joseph Quinones on congas, Maria Baglien on percussion, Izzy "Korn" Shane on screaming vocals, and Adrian Saint on rhythm guitar.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Jun 2024 13:03:50 -0400 .