Wednesday, February 16, 2011

CD Review – Midsummer, by Uwe Gronau

German composer, musician, and performer Uwe Gronau’s latest album is a 2-CD set of delightful, upbeat music that’s perfect for any season, not just the one indicated by the title.

The first CD features synth-rock in the vein of Jan Hammer and Tangerine Dream, while the second disc is more comparable to the quieter, pastoral reveries of Vangelis, George Winston, and Jim Brickman. Regardless of the style or tempo of the music, Gronau maintains interest throughout with gorgeous melodies, hook-laden grooves, lush sonic textures, and kinetic percussion channeled through his piano, virus-synthesizer, organ, bass, and acoustic guitar, as well as his and producer Clemens Paskert’s drum programming.

Standout tracks include “Magic Forest” and “Left Hand” (both featuring crazy wicked guitar by the U.S.A.’s Martin Brom – I want to hear more from this guy!), “Gliding Flight” (which includes clean, tasteful fusion lines by German guitarist Wolfgang Demming), “Steps in the Snow” with its gossamer, Knight Rider-like mystique, and “Midsummer,” “Passage,” and “Rivers Bound to Sea,” which are the perfect blend of New Age and art rock.

Although Midsummer is primarily instrumental, perhaps the most effective and moving tune on the album is its only vocal song, “Silence.” Both the lyrics and Gronau’s voice evidence an earnestness, honesty, and humility that are instantly appealing and perfectly encapsulate the spirit of the album.

If you like the aforementioned artists, as well as independent musicians such as Michael Stribling, David Wahler, David Mauk, and Al Conti, Midsummer by Uwe Gronau will be at home in your collection and deserving of several very good listens.

--Raj Manoharan


  1. I like Uwe Gronau's music since early "Sternberg" times (when he was also cooperating with Wolfgang Demming BTW).
    "Midsummer" is sensitive and yet powerful. Meditative and relaxing music - perfect for a dreamy mood.
    Thanks for your inspiring review
    God Bless

  2. Thank you for your comments. You're right on about the album. It's one of the best I've ever heard. More people need to hear it. Take Care!

  3. This is one of the best reviews (!) I´ve ever read: Sensitive, honest and competent. More people need to read it. "Midsummer" is a little miracle! Yes, it is!

  4. Thank you for the kind words. And yes, "Midsummer" is a musical miracle. It really is spiritous, joyous, and exuberant. Glad you like the album -- and the review. Take Care!