Artist Spotlight

Review: Road Man, “Light at the Speed of Life”

No Comments 8 March 2015

Review: Road Man, “Light at the Speed of Life”

“However long and winding the musical path may have been, Jonathan Petronzio has hit upon something special with this solo project. Light at the Speed of Life is an introspective, creative and ultimately very pleasing listen.”

Artist: Road Man

Album: Light at the Speed of Life

Genre: Reggae Soul Rock

RIYL: John Browns Body, Soulive, Galactic, Michael Franti

Road Man Light at the Speed of Life

Road Man is storytelling singer-songwriter Jonathan Petronzio. Light at the Speed of Life is an album seven years in the making as this well-regarded musician in the jam band scene (who’s previously been an integral part of John Browns Body and funk band Revision) has taken a slightly different direction for this solo project. This album represents a musician who has very clearly found his voice and a robust outlet for his creativity, introspection and global influences.

Road Man is a curiosity to me; I generally find a lot of pseudo-reggae music to be tedious and a little bit of a letdown lyrically and emotionally. What I found out with this project, however, is that past experience I’d been holding on to fell by the wayside with a quickness. The tunes included here are filled with light, layers and some truly interesting musical ideas that lead to unexpected and very satisfying listening experiences. Light at the Speed of Life is very easy to listen to and get in touch with on a very basic level, which is what the best reggae and soul artists are able to draw out of their material.

It’s clear that Petronzio is an accomplished musician, the arrangements and easy lyrical style are quick proof of that. There is a complexity that is well-hidden in hooks and phrasing on songs like “Crying for So Long” and opener “Dangerous Road”. The former is a fantastic example of his unique sense of musicality and shows off strong use of rhythm and clear, strong vocals. The rhythm change-up and guitar lines coupled with harmonies make this a standout. Similarly, we delve even deeper into Petronzio’s musings on mysticism and faith with tunes that tap into a wider and more soulful arena with the Gospel-tinged “The Meeting,” a song that could easily be channeling George Harrison and Bob Marley simultaneously.

However long and winding the musical path may have been, Jonathan Petronzio has hit upon something special with this solo project. Light at the Speed of Life is an introspective, creative and ultimately very pleasing listen. No doubt his army of fans are excited about the release of this record, as I now am. This is a musically rich and uplifting album that hints at even greater things to come in the future. Road Man is a project that has been worth the wait, and represents an inspiring musical rebirth as Petronzio looks to the light.


Road Man website: http://www.roadman.us/

 

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