Nautical Themes – All Things Must Fly

Nautical Themes
All Things Must Fly

Instrumental albums are definitely gaining in popularity these days as more people seem to be grasping the complexity and variety as well as the emotion that can be conveyed through a strictly instrumental medium. Nautical Themes are one end of the instrumental spectrum. These songs combine soft rock instrumentation with keyboard and special effect noises to create a very rhythmic, ambient sound. Unlike many instrumental albums, the songs are not too long, which would tire you out with this style. Rather, they change just enough to keep your interest behind the waves of sound and soft jazzy-rock melodic structure.

“School of Glassy Sweepers” starts things off. Softly played electric guitar and soft drums are washed behind a wave of ambient sound, creating not so much music as waves of soft, tuneful sound. It’s a beautiful, rhythmic, droning effect. “Brittle Star” has some higher pitched keyboard sounds that differentiate it from the first track, but the rest of the music behind it sounds very similar. The rhythm picks up a little bit more on “Battle of Snug Harbor,” and the low-end bass changes up this song. And while “Sheet Metal Dreams” is pretty in a very melodic sort of way, it does get repetitious. “Benefit of Escape” is probably the most repetitive song of the bunch, but “Narrows on the Horizon,” with its feedback wash of noise of the pretty, melodic guitar, comes across as the most droning. “Sleeper Falls” is a little more pretty and a little softer, almost chiming.

Nautical Themes is just a bit too quiet for me. The songs don’t really pick up enough for my personal tastes, and there’s not all the changes and differences within the song that you find with many instrumental bands. But this is one of those albums that is better left for late nights at home in the dark. It’s a different take on the ambient genre, throwing in rock instrumentation to complement the soft and somewhat dissonant or droning sound effects. An interesting effort that is at times too repetitive and at times very beautiful. For those who like to relax and unwind, this would be the album to do it to. And the packaging, also done by the Collective folks, is pretty impressive.