Rear View is a retrospective compilation from Perpetual Motion, a Denver, Colorado-based duo comprised of violinist Josie Quick and guitarist Tom Carleno. Featuring thirteen remastered compositions which have been culled from twenty-five years of previously released material, the album highlights some of the duo’s best moments in musical craftsmanship. Josie and Tom are joined by a handful of guest musicians throughout this collection who variably lend bass and percussion, as Tom provides acoustic guitar while Josie plays both electric and acoustic violin in addition to mandolin and percussion.
The album begins with “Nova”, a piece from the duo’s 2000 release, Christmas Time is Here, which features Michael Olson on bass and the late Rob Chamberlin on drums. A lively and upbeat, yet gently rhythmic number, which perfectly captures the festive atmosphere of the holiday season, Josie’s violin serves as the lead melody while Tom’s acoustic guitar provides added warmth and melodic support. “Race of the Dolphin” follows next, a song taken from the duo’s 1993 release, Ready, Willing and Able. One of my favorite pieces on the album, guitar and violin jointly move along in a buoyant manner, creating rippling effects as if to mimic the ocean’s rolling waves and currents. Continuing on with “Oasis”, which originally appeared on the 1997 album, Surfing on Cloud Nine, this piece features Chad Johnson on percussion and Matt Deason on bass. An enjoyably laid-back number distinguished by a mandolin instrument and woodsy percussion, it conveys a somewhat tropical feel bringing to mind that of a relaxing sunny afternoon. Following it up with a similar mood is “Jungle Spirits”, from the 2006 album, String Theory, which features Blake Eberhand on bass and Christian Teele on percussion. Beginning with visually transportive rainforest sounds, this piece is distinguished by notable classical and flamenco elements, which are conveyed by one of the most impressive guitar and violin performances herein. I especially love the classical guitar riff that enters towards the latter half of the piece, making this elegant yet powerful composition one of my favorites on the album. Also especially noteworthy is the eighth track, “Dreamcatcher”, also taken from the album Christmas Time Is Here, which once again showcases Rob Chamberlin on drums as well as Michael Olson on bass. Glistening chimes and rainsticks introduce this optimistic and peaceful number as guitar and violin are set to a leisurely-paced rhythm. Another particular highlight is the ninth track, “Pasión de la Luna”, a piece also taken from the album, String Theory, which likewise features Blake Eberhard on bass and Christian Teele on percussion. Seasoned with a Latin flavor as well, the song is further spiced-up by dramatic intervals and a somewhat frenetic rhythm that perfectly lends itself to a romantic view of a dancing couple in the moonlight.
Rear View is a lovely retrospective that showcases some of the best highlights from this wonderfully talented duo. With pieces ranging from lively, exotic and festive to simple, serene and down-to-earth, one can easily get an overall defined sense of the stylistic range and musical variety that Perpetual Motion often cruise through. Providing a thoroughly rewarding ride along its collection of contemporary acoustic soundscapes, this album certainly offers no shortage of compelling sights to see along the way! ~Candice Michelle
Links & Purchase: Perpetual Motion