Stepping into The Wilderness with K.S. Rhoads

K.S. Rhoads

I am deeply infatuated with The Wilderness, the mew release from Nashville based singer/songwriter K.S. Rhoads.  I mean, reeeeealy infatuated.  But it didn’t happen right away.

Sometimes, my first listen to an album will produce a “nothing” reaction, and I’ll toss it into my make-believe “I’m done with you” bin.  While I liked The Wilderness fine enough, it didn’t draw me back for more.  So, I left if sitting on the imaginary shelf that sits right next to the make-believe “I’m done with you” bin, waiting to eventually find its way in and forever forgotten.

But a funny thing happened about a week later.  Call it a cosmic reprieve from some invisible Governor of music who governs over imaginary shelves that sit next to make-believe “I’m done with you” bins.  While listening to the radio one day, I heard Rhoads’ song “Harvest” and was struck by this anthem to a looming, large-scale consequence to choices made.  “What is this engaging little song, and how can I hear more?” I said to myself.  Suddenly, I noticed The Wilderness teetering on the imaginary shelf, about to be plunged into the “I’m done with you” bin, and I leapt over to save it.

Whew.  That was a close one.

Thought I was listening to it for the second time, this might as well have been my frist listen to The Wilderness.  I did not remember hearing any of these wonderfully epic and diverse pop anthems, swirling through different styles and moods and creating a sound scape that sometimes borders on being lush, but is always just the right amount of big without being over the top.  K.S. Rhoads has created a pop treasure!

“Orphaned” leads off the album with a quick cinematic burst, and is quickly followed by the just slightly gloomy but completely catchy “Harvest”.  These tracks are both radio-ready and will get your attention.

From there, the album journeys through several musical styles – the loop-tastic and Vampire Weekendish “Invincible Fortress”, the traditional asian vibe of the title track, the Frente-friendly sun shine of the identity seeking “This is where I come From”, the spiritual folk contemplation of “When Your Prayers Are Received”, and the classical composition “Prelude in F Minor” – all housed in Rhoads’ pop treasure box.  He even takes a stab at rap in “Chains”, a song about the invisible chains that bind us all, and the strangely enjoyable pop culture stream-of-conscious chain reaction “Hiyayayayaya”.

My favorite track on the album is the carnival waltz “If You Want Love”.  It’s a song about a guy helping his buddy move past a broken relationship.  Musically, if I close me eyes, if feels like it’s a conversation taking place on a merry-go-round.  It keeps turning and swirling and refuses to stop until this guy’s buddy finally wake’s up and realizes that his girl is  gone.

Obviously, I am enthusiastically supporting K.S. Rhoads’ The Wilderness.   But I am also issuing a wake-up call to all of us to go back and double-check our imaginary shelves before we push everything into the “I’m done with you” bin.  There may be a hidden treasure there that you just weren’t ready to receive the first time you heard it.

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~ by themattmorrisshow on August 12, 2013.

2 Responses to “Stepping into The Wilderness with K.S. Rhoads”

  1. Hi, I’ve recently been a lurker around your blog for a few months. I like this article and your entire site! Looking forward to reading more!

  2. […] 6.  K.S. Rhoads – The Wilderness   Rhoads is a wonderful, Nashville-based singer-songwriter.  He manages to weave his way around pop, rock, folk, and even a dash of rap and hip-hop.  He is a thoughtful songwriter who likes to explore the topic of our place in the world.  I wrote more about the album here. […]

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