Ben Cooper, the creator of Radical Face, is a man of many talents. He is currently messing about with not one, not two, but FIVE different musical projects, all of which are mainly self-driven. This is not to mention various works of fiction that are currently underway, or the extremely low-budget short movies he produces. Touch the Sky, his latest release, is a short compilation of six songs, introduced as a transition of sorts between his first album under Radical Face and the second, anticipated album – both of which are part of a three-CD series.
Needless to say, this is a guy who has big ideas for his music. I’m not sure I understand all of what is going on in each track, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed whatever it was. About half of the songs have guitar melodies set over those soaring piano chord progressions that are so often associated with the Arcade Fire, but Radical Face uses them to evoke a more bittersweet mood. All of the recording is done by Mr. Cooper himself, and individual songs involve several tracks layered on top of each other. The precision is evident in the music, with every crescendo and harmony exquisitely placed for optimum emphasis. At the same time, a lot of this album feels like something I’ve heard before – this may be because the songs are so accessible, or because Radical Face is part of a much bigger trend in music these days. Or possibly the creator is just a little too familiar with his music, and could stand to get a bit more radical. But regardless of what I think about Mr. Cooper and his musical boundaries, he has indeed put together a very pretty set of tracks. Kudos to Ben; one can only hope that his four other endeavors are equally as successful.
– Ani Zotti