Lewis & Clarke – Triumvirate
A full seven years after their last proper encounter and with only a couple of brief exchanges in between, Lewis & Clarke have finally re-connected. So, put the kettle on. Get the cookies out. There’s a lot of catching up to do. And so it turns out. With eleven songs and more than an hour of music, this is no idle chit-chat. This is a collection of intense meditations on modernity and the human condition. Lou Rogai is the creative force behind the project. Taking the name of the band from the mid-20th century correspondence between C. S. Lewis and Arthur C. Clarke, Rogai crafts an early 21st century masterpiece. There are pontillistic piano moments and haunting violin refrains. But there are also sweeping orchestrations and lilting melodies. The hook on ‘The Ride’ being perhaps the most memorable. And with more than half of the tracks clocking in at over six minutes, there’s more than enough time for ideas to be mulled over and conclusions, however tentative, to be drawn. Like previous Lewis & Clarke conversations, the lyrics tend to the oblique. The metaphors are naturalistic, but the meaning is resolutely human. There’s a change, though, from earlier work. Lou Rogai’s voice has deepened. A lot. It’s both a gain and a loss. More assured, there’s perhaps a greater confidence to the sound than before, most notably on the long opening track, ‘Eve’s Wing’. Yet the songs are also rendered somewhat less fragile as a result. And because of that a certain vulnerability has been lost, even if the sound of his young son reciting a story on ‘Two Trees’ does recapture a sense of innocence. A Lewis & Clarke rendezvous is no ordinary affair. The tone is intense, but the effect is uplifting. We can only hope that it’s not another seven years before their paths cross again.