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  • Bryon Harris

A Bad Think - 'The Tragic End Of A Dreamer'

Grammy nominated artist, A Bad Think, is back with his 7th studio release 'The Tragic End Of A Dreamer.' The alternative album is a collection of contemporary rock songs that bring to life the story of a dreamer who “wakes up and realizes that you can’t dream your way through life and have it come out okay in the end.” Michael Marquart is the singer-songwriter and sole member behind the moniker 'A Bad Think.' His efforts have yielded an album that hits the mark of his message with musical sophistication and passion.

‘The Tragic End Of A Dreamer’ opens with the song “No Way Out.” The intro presents a falling cascade of descending step-wise notes that break into a great rock groove with bass, drums, guitars and synth. Marquart's vocals commence with a sound that is pure indie- rock, intense but subdued. “There’s no way out Just in case you change your mind.” And you won’t change your mind - you will want to keep listening as A Bad Think holds your interest with musical motifs and embellishments, layering the song with texture and harmonies. The cascading riff in the beginning returns like a haunting memory, on and off, throughout the song which is very soulful.

The next song up “Now You’re Gone” has a nice eight bar rhythmical groove as Marquart asks, “How many times can you fall down and still get up? And how many times can you fall asleep at the switch?” Throughout the album the lyrics are inquisitive, seeking deeper knowledge without having all the answers. A few songs into the album, “Stay” changes up the mood with a mesmerizing and dreamy piano intro, a beautiful and haunting motif is heard. Marquart's vocals enter, “Say you’ll stay with me. Say you’ll stay forever. Stay. Say you’ll stay by me. Say you’ll stay even if you lie.” After this moving intro, the song picks up intensity and a harder rock edge commences. Most notable is Marquart’s vocal toolbox in which he reaches deep within and pulls out variation after variation of emotive vocalese that can only be described as a vocal symphony that surrenders, sings and soars below and above the music like an instrument in the mix.

The seventh track on the album, “The Animal” is intriguing. With a mysterious opening, we hear a whisper “silence” and some breathing then a comment “good boy.” The song talks about the animal within us that can’t be tamed or chained. Another attention-grabbing song is “It’s Over Before.” The ballad surprises with an acoustic guitar finger-picking entrance that perfectly compliments his vocals which are gentle with great tone. “Is there any room left for me to stay? Is there any room left that I might share. It’s over before it’s too late.” This song was my favorite on the album. "Walk Away” has a similar flavor in that, once again, Marquart’s vocals have just the right amount of wistfulness and edge. The song talks about loving someone just enough…to walk away. It has a gorgeous sound track that creates a visual picture of letting go. The production on the album is stellar.

The album takes a turn with “Something Strong.” The vibe is more upbeat as A Bad Think talks about inner instincts when something is going on, something that is strong and in the air. It’s not quite right and perhaps you’ve lost your place. The chorus “Hold onto the wind. Tell him. Hold onto the wind if he can” is moving and memorable. The last song, “Amnesia” is another gem. It opens with A Bad Think's signature instrumental intro and a sound that is intriguing, melodically middle-eastern then opens up into a great indie rock groove with a nice rhythm guitar pattern. Mid-way there is gorgeous acoustic and electric guitar section that cements A Bad Think's performance as thoughtful and tasteful.

A Bad Think's album 'The Tragic End Of A Dreamer' paints stories and experiences that are boldly honest against an indie-rock landscape that is painted with expansive instrumental and vocal color by an artist who has paid attention to every detail. For more information on A Bad Think, visit his website.

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