The New Mexico native funnels his creativity and fiery passion into a third album, Synthesis, which will be released by Universal in fall ’09 in Europe and Japan and in Spring ’10 in the United States.
Synthesis was recorded in Los Angeles in June 2009 with legendary producer and bassist Larry Klein, most noted for his work with luminaries such as Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, and Peter Gabriel. According to Raul, “Larry is the kind of producer who is coming from where I’m coming from.” In the studio, Raul is joined by session vets Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Paulinho Da Costa (percussion), Dean Parks (guitar), and Jamie Muhoberac (keyboards), as well as Klein on bass.
What sets Synthesis apart is Midón’s hands-on involvement in the recording process. Raul was able to sidestep his blindness, using a voice-driven software called Sonar, to demo songs in his home studio. Raul explains, ”the program allows you to edit audio and have access to the things that everyone uses in recording, like compressors, reverb, effects, MIDI — all on a professional level. So each demo I recorded served as a way to figure out how to do something else in my studio.”
Raul Midón - The Making of "Synthesis"
All in all, Synthesis’ genre-defying blend of soul, pop, jazz, folk, and Latin elements showcases Midón’s evolution as an artist as he sets some of his more biting insights about betrayal, fear, loss, and the American Dream to deceptively up-tempo swinging rhythms and deliriously catchy melodies. While “Never Really Gave,” “Don’t Take It That Way,” and “Invisible Chains” crackle with tart observation, songs like “Next Generation,” “Call My Name,” and “Moment to Moment” strike a more uplifting tone. Raul reflected on the songwriting process by saying, “[Synthesis] about trying to go deep into just how it is to live life and all the different things you feel…I’m talking about how I feel about the world and how I fit into it.” The result is an intimate, classic-sounding album that is sure to delight newcomers to Midón’s music and those who’ve been following his remarkable talent for years.
Larry encouraged me to write from a different perspective than I have in the past,” Midón says of the lyrics on Synthesis. “I’ve written a lot of songs about hope and inspiration and that sort of thing, which is cool, but there are other aspects to life. I’ve tried to expand my repertoire a bit. This is not a record about trying to enhance somebody’s understanding of my woes. It’s more about trying to go deep into just how it is to live life and all the different things you feel. Like how you can be very angry at somebody and still love them, or how you meet people who teach you things, but you don’t want to be like them. I’m talking about how I feel about the world and how I fit into it.”
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