Album Review of
Champagne And Brass

Written by Robert Silverstein
March 26, 2020 - 12:00am EDT
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With its stunning mix of New Age Pop and electronic instrumental music, The Colors Of Life, the 2019 debut album by Denver, Colorado based Moon Over Mountain, impressed music fans and turned heads around. Now, in 2020, group founders Kenneth Lee Roberts and Megan Buness return with their second album called Champagne And Brass. With this second Moon Over Mountain album, Ken and Megan continue onwards with their subtle and sublime approach to both vocal and instrumental music. In the spirit of The Colors Of Life, the 12-track, 2020 album release of Champagne And Brass offers another memorable blend of instrumental keyboard-based electronica and experimental, yet accessible songs with vocals—some with lyrics and some with synthesized wordless vocals that serve to entertain and even startle the listener (in a good way). Some of the vocal tracks, such as Megan’s vocals on “Snowfall” border on impressionistic jazz, while others present a rare blend of New Age with touches of progressive rock. I could see fans of progressive jazz singer Annette Peacock enjoying Megan’s earthy vocals on some tracks here. The instrumental tracks, such as “Close To My Heart”—composed by Megan and featuring multi-tracked, synthesized, Gregorian-sounding wordless vocals—are arranged with Ken’s electronic keyboards in mind. Sounding like the perfect segue to “Close To My Heart”, “The Man Who Spoke 10,000 Truths”—a Ken Roberts composition—is another fascinating meld of Ken’s accessible keys and glorious wordless electronic vocals highlighted by a unique arrangement. Bringing the sound and vision into the 2020’s there’s even a track here called “AOC”—a paean to the congresswoman from New York City—with lyrics that speak up about a green new deal and the one percent economy. Closing out the Champagne And Brass album, that same “AOC” track is filled with drum fills that are quite startling, no doubt inspired by the startling nature of American politics of century 21. With the 2020 release of the 12-track Champagne And Brass, it’s just amazing what these two very creative musicians have created with hardly any outside intervention. Implementing a vast array of impressive studio sounds coupled with Ken and Megan’s expanding compositional skills, Moon Over Mountain breathes new life into the New Age Electronica genre, as the music world evolves into the roaring 20’s.