Folk N Rock reviewed Sakis Gouzonis' 16th studio album, Inner Power.
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A look at the 16th album from Sakis Gouzonis, Inner Power
Album Review by Scott
Music Critic for Folk N Rock
United States of America
Sunday, 31 December 2023
Today, I'm exploring Sakis Gouzonis' latest album, Inner Power. This album, fresh off the press since its release on August 23rd, 2023, just right at the end of summer, delves deep into the theme of the inherent strength within each of us. Sakis Gouzonis weaves a story around the concept of inner power, a relentless force that’s integral to achieving our dreams and conquering our fears.
Each track in Inner Power seems to be a musical exploration of this concept, aiming to resonate with our own journey of self-discovery and resilience. Gouzonis is well known for making music that lingers in your ears, but his music also provokes thought and introspection. Indeed, Sakis Gouzonis stands as a remarkable figure in the world of electronic music.
His skill and creativity shine through his impressive portfolio of 16 studio albums, each featuring 10 carefully crafted tracks. What's truly exceptional about Sakis is his journey in the music industry. He's a great example to the power of independent artistry, having achieved notable success without the backing of a record label.
Sakis' approach is a genuine embodiment of the DIY ethos. In a music landscape often dominated by big labels, his path highlights the potential for artists to carve out their own success stories, driven by talent and perseverance. This self-made journey of Sakis is inspiring, and it adds a layer of authenticity and admiration to his work. And hey, he got there using his inner power.
Kicking off the album with Open Your Mind, I'm immediately struck by the way Gouzonis sets the tone. The track begins with key melodies that lay a nice groundwork, complemented by a choir-like ambiance. It's fascinating how electronic elements can so effectively mimic the ethereal qualities of human voices, creating a digital symphony that's both rich and immersive.
What really grabs my attention is the homage paid to musical greats. The deeper tones in the backing base remind me, quite fondly, of Giorgio Moroder's work in Midnight Express. These tones build an atmosphere filled with suspense and anticipation, reminiscent of a heartbeat racing against time.
As the track progresses, around one and a half minutes in, the strings and orchestrations come into the foreground, adding a new dimension to the piece. This interlude lasts for a good thirty seconds before the choir-like tones re-emerge. The song's structure is carefully crafted, with each element serving a purpose in the overall composition.
Then, as we approach the three-minute mark, Sakis introduces an epic build-up leading to a key change that concludes the track. It's a climactic moment that wraps up the opener in a memorable way. Open Your Mind is a great introduction to the album; it's also a journey in itself, showcasing Sakis' ability to blend diverse elements into a cohesive and engaging piece.
Jumping into the next track, It Is In You, I'm instantly hit with thunderous percussions, setting a powerful tone right from the start. The track then shifts into an almost epic-like countdown with the synths, creating a build-up that's both intense and epic. About 20 seconds in, there's a brief pause that almost feels like taking a breath before diving into the main melody.
The beat that follows is really cool. It's subtle yet prominent, creating a rhythm that's easy to clap along to. I can already picture how this track would energize a live audience, with fans joining in, clapping to the beat. It's one of those songs that not only sounds great but also has the potential to create a shared, interactive experience during live performances.
Technical change-ups throughout the song keep things interesting and dynamic. These shifts in rhythm and tone add to the track's appeal, making it a well-thought-out musical piece that's both enjoyable and something you can engage in. It Is In You is, without a doubt, a really fun track on the album.
The Only One immediately sets itself apart with an opening that’s like a plunge into another world. The sound effects mimic the gentle ripple of water, transitioning into something akin to crashing waves. This auditory scenery instantly captures my attention, pulling me into the track's unique atmosphere.
What stands out to me about this track is its slow, deliberate melody. It's the kind of tune that gradually reels you in, enveloping you in its unfolding story. There's an epic feel to it, something inspiring and uplifting that resonates with me personally. It's like being part of a story that's both grand and intimately personal.
While the melody is rhythmic and engaging, it also has a quality that allows you to get lost in it. It's the perfect track to have playing in the background, offering a soothing, almost meditative backdrop to your thoughts. For me, The Only One is a highlight of the album. It's an experience, offering both a rhythmic anchor and a space to drift away in thought. This track, with its unique blend of sounds and tempo, truly stands out as one of my favorites on Inner Power.
My Guiding Force definitely stands out on this album. Right from the get-go, it hits you with an energy that's both surprising and invigorating. It might even give you a quick jump scare if you're not ready for it. Unlike some tracks that ease you into their world, this one doesn't give you that luxury. It's straight to the point, launching into an intense key melody accompanied by those choir-like sounds and the striking crash of cymbals.
Around the 35-second mark, the track shifts gears, introducing a different tone that really grabs my attention. The beat that emerges here is, in my opinion, one of my favorites on the entire record. It's incredibly infectious, the kind of rhythm that gets under your skin and stays there. There's also this charming melody playing on the keys that adds a cool little layer to the track. This song commands your attention. The lack of buildup, the sudden shifts in tone, and the infectious beat make My Guiding Force a track that stands out for its boldness and energy.
The track On Top Of Every Mountain from this record, which, funny enough, was recorded near the foot of Mount Olympus, carries a sense of grandeur and awe, just like the mythic mountain itself. The title alone sets high expectations, and I must say, it doesn't disappoint. The vibe of this track is something else; it's both subtle and striking, creating an ambiance that's hard to get out of your head.
One of the most striking elements of this track is the way occasional loud crashes punctuate the sound. These aren't just random effects, but it feels like they add a significant layer to the track, enhancing its overall impact. It reminds me of the earlier song The Only One, where similar subtle yet powerful sound effects were used to great effect, like the crashing water. I find these little auditory details incredibly effective. They're like hidden gems within the track, waiting to surprise you. It's these nuances that give the track its unique character.
Wrapping up the album, Spread Love leaves a lasting impression with its uplifting vibe and message. The track opens with a whistling sound that's instantly catchy. It's the kind of tune that sticks in your mind, and before you know it, you're whistling along. This element reminds me of some of the compositions by Ennio Morricone, where a simple sound can carry so much weight and emotion.
There's something genuinely feel-good about this track. The message of spreading love is not just in the lyrics but infused into the very melody of the song. It's an infectious, upbeat track that serves as a fitting finale to the album. As I sit here writing this review, I find myself still carrying the tune in my head, whistling along to the rhythm.
It's clear that he has delivered yet another remarkable collection of tracks. This album is a showcase to his enduring talent and creativity. Sakis has firmly established himself as an artist who consistently brings something fresh and engaging to the table.
From the invigorating beats of My Guiding Force to the soothing melodies of The Only One, and the catchy rhythm of Spread Love, this album is a journey through a variety of sounds and emotions. Each track stands on its own, yet together they form a cohesive story that reflects Sakis' unique musical vision. And that story, is our Inner Power.
With this record, Sakis proves once again that he is far from reaching his creative peak. As a listener and a fan, I'm excited for the future, eager to see how he will continue to surprise and delight us with his next 10 tracks.
News #466 about Sakis