(HAKEN) A Shadow Of My Future Self

€15.99 * Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs
  • 34192
  • CD
  • 12.11.2021
Der Lockdown gab Haken eine Menge Zeit zum Komponieren, wie Bandstimme ROSS JENNINGS bereits... more

Der Lockdown gab Haken eine Menge Zeit zum Komponieren, wie Bandstimme ROSS JENNINGS bereits in Interviews zum letzten Album bemerkte, und anscheinend fand auch er selbst genügend Stunden, um an Solomaterial zu schrauben, das nun gebündelt auf einem ersten Longplayer unter seinem eigenen Namen erscheint.

Ross hat alles selbst produziert, ließ sich aber in allen Aspekten der Abwicklung helfen, wobei ihm natürlich auch außenstehende Instrumentalisten unter die Arme gegriffen haben. "A Shadow of my Future Self" ist ein bunter Song-Reigen geworden, wirkt aber insgesamt sehr homogen. Schlichte Liedermacher-Nummern wie die Wandergitarren-Erzählungen ´Better Times´ - halb nostalgisch, halb vorausschauend - oder ´Since That Day´ - mit Keyboards geringfügig aufwändiger arrangiert - treffen auf mehr oder weniger traditionellen Progressive Rock wie das zwölfminütige ´Phoenix´ in dem es von orchestralen Partituren bis zu jubilierendem Chorgesang viel zu entdecken gibt.

Die erhebende Stimmung dieses Longtracks überträgt sich auf das Gros der restlichen Songs, die wie speziell ´Grounded´ teilweise schier famose Gesangsdarbietungen beziehungsweise denkwüdige Refrains zur Diskussion stellen. Ein verhältnismäßig unauffälliges Cover von Dua Lipas ´Be The One´ reiht sich am Ende stimmig ein, nachdem Jennnings den Weg schon früh vorgegeben hat - mit halb synthetischem Pop Rock nach mindestens 30 Jahre alten Mustern, die von Songwriting-Assen wie David Stewart (Eurythmics), Phil Collins oder George Michael etabliert wurden.

Solche Klänge sind bekanntlich (wenn man mit Haken vertraut ist) eines der liebsten Sujets des Briten und kommt unter anderem auch in ´Rocket Science´ oder ´Words We Can´t Unsay´ zur Geltung. ´Catcher In The Rye´ rangiert ebenso wie die Ballade ´Third Degree´ irgendwo zwischen Elton John und Freddy Mercurys Solowerken, und eine Ausnahme von der leichtfüßigen Regel gibt es ebenfalls: Satter Saxofon-Metal trifft in ´Violet´ auf kunstvolle Gesangsarrangements der Marke Yes, die auch für die absolut Radio-taugliche Hymne ´Feelings´ Pate gestanden haben könnten.

FAZIT: Was als rein "egoistische" Liebhaberei gedacht war, erweist sich für ROSS JENNINGS als Liedersammlung mit Sprengkraft, denn in Anbetracht des zwingenden Charakters der Songs auf seinem Solo-Einstand "A Shadow of my Future Self" darf der Sänger und Komponist darauf spekulieren, sich eine zweite Karriere neben Haken aufbauen zu können.  (A.Schiffmann/musikreviews.de - 12/15)

As current lead vocalist and co-songwriter of the hugely successful modern progressive metal band HAKEN, ROSS JENNINGS needs no introduction in some circles, having released 1 ep, 1 Live album and 6 full length studio albums of consistently high quality with the band, HAKEN have been climbing that mountain with grace and gusto, albeit on the fringe of mainstream rock and metal. In 2019 HAKEN won ‘Best UK Artist’ at the annual PROG awards, with their latest release ‘Virus’ reaching #2 in the UK rock charts and entering the US Billboard Hot 100 at #52.

On the back of this release ROSS JENNINGS set out to write, record and self-produce his debut solo effort ‘A SHADOW OF MY FUTURE SELF’ with an ambition to become a new household name and keep mainstream classic rock alive and well.

ROSS JENNINGS’ undeniable appeal is his uniquely soothing yet versatile voice and captivating lyricism that has won the hearts of many and the minds of those who dare to unravel the layers of poetry and cryptic narratives.

Never one to shy away from his influences, ROSS JENNINGS has openly disclosed his love for American AOR and mainstream ‘90s MTV’ arena rock, his passion for modern Indie/pop such as Coldplay, U2 & R.E.M., and even his affinity with the Nashville Country music scene. Ross’s influences and tastes are vast, coupled with a strong desire to have an outlet to expand his songwriting away from Prog-metal and into these arenas, A SHADOW OF MY FUTURE SELF finds Ross on a musical journey his fans have not heard him explore professionally before, writing very personal songs in what can only be described as a love letter to the aforementioned popular genres that were the foundation to Ross’s musical inspiration. This album in question starts on the fringe of a country road, navigates indie pop, anthemic rock, power ballads and culminates in some epic prog.

Ross has the following to say about the project: “Despite my history, I rarely regard myself as a metal singer, so I was in desperate need to scratch a long time itch and make a record that appeals to the broader spectrum of my musical palette. With A SHADOW OF MY FUTURE SELF, I unashamedly wear my influences on my sleeve but this is the kind of music I always imagined I’d be making before I took the path less travelled into prog metal... Needless to say, this is somewhat more accessible and radio friendly stuff!”

Written and recorded in the space of about 4-5 months between April - August 2020 the inspiration for A SHADOW OF MY FUTURE SELF was born out of some difficult personal times.

“Not only was the planet turned on its head due to Covid-19, a fact that actually allowed the process of writing the album to happen, but some significant relationship breakdowns were occurring in my personal life at the same time. Without being too specific, the lockdown forced me to confront these life issues in the face and in the flesh, resulting in a wealth of emotions that inspired much of the lyric content on this record. I went on a very emotional and spiritual journey to overcome and make peace with certain things, which ultimately led me to a very positive space. It was extremely cathartic and profoundly therapeutic to work through my issues and create something positive out of some very negative circumstances.”

The album cover art was photographed by Yulia Jennings, and the design was fulfilled by longtime HAKEN collaborator BLACKLAKE.

Whilst A SHADOW OF MY FUTURE SELF was all written in full by ROSS JENNINGS and boasts not only vocal but also guitar performances from himself, some top up and coming guest musicians were also hired to fulfill the backing band duties for the record. Featuring Simen Sandnes (The Shining, Vola, Arkentype) on drums, Vikram Shankar (Redemption, Silent Skies, Lux Terminus) on keyboards and orchestral arrangements, plus prolific YouTuber and session bass extraordinaire Nathan Navarro (Devin Townsend) fulfilling bass duties. These fine musicians make up Ross’s core band, with some notable guest performances from Norwegian brass outfit ‘Blasemafian’, mixed by Karim Sinno/ The AudioLoft and mastered by HAKEN collaborator Ermin Hamidovic of Systematic Productions (Vector & Virus).

The album is a very diverse mix of Alternative Pop, Arena Rock and indie ballads with infectious melodies that won’t leave your brain. A truly bold statement from a prog rock/metal musician with ambition to take a giant leap into the mainstream, following the footsteps of his heroes such as Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, David Gilmour, Chris Cornell & Steven Wilson.



(HAKEN) A Shadow Of My Future Self
€15.99 *