Doddy, Fritz - The Feeling Of Far

Year of Release: 2005
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: FD6887
Format: CD
Total Time: 58:47:00

Perhaps it's just me. I have friends who listened to this CD and gave it very good reports, though not outstanding. And I have one friend who spun it once and wrote it off with a flippant "Naah - not my thing!". Even my wife dismissed it with a "very nice, dear." But something about this record touches me.

Perhaps it's the lyrics:

My daughter's older than I'll ever be
...My dogs like chasing ghosts from my past ... Knowing I can't see them
...You never hear me when I'm shouting
...The leaders follow orders while the followers debate over the orders that the leaders make us follow
...Watching slowly, listen softly

And here's one that defines the theme of the whole record...

...Why do children know what grownups learn to forget

Each of these excerpts carries the wisdom of a mini-haiku, and suggest a thinking person with a quirky turn of phrase that is at once lighthearted and wise.

Perhaps it's the music. Like the prose, it is quirky and upbeat and fun, yet that frivolity is a clever mask for the depth I found hidden here. Or perhaps it's the album's title - I'm a golfer, and The Feeling Of Far is loosely borrowed from a chapter in one of golf's definitive instruction books.

Multi-instrumentalist Fritz Doddy is a multiple Clio award-winning creative director, with musical scores used extensively on national television commercials and on TV station identifications, and has honed his skills playing in a variety of bands for many years. Doddy describes his debut release as a concept album, but it's really a strongly themed piece in which similar sentiments are expressed across the whole record, and there are recurring musical and lyrical themes that tie it all together very effectively.

The overall sound on this CD leans toward light-hearted prog-pop, and the vibe is reminiscent of early prog's very Brit-like irreverence and self deprecation, its creativity and its flagrant disregard for convention. The whole piece is approachable and very melodic, the hooks are enormous, and the simple but elegant tunes will stay with you for weeks. No two songs are the same, no two sections are the same, yet it remains cohesive and consistent throughout. Besides the standard rock ensemble this music is built with contributions from a big collection of guest artists and with a big collection of instruments including violin, melodica, mandolin, cellos, electric sitar, bouzouki, trombone, Chinese flutes, minimoog, kalimba, shakers and toy piano. And it is a true showcase for Mellotrons - indeed Doddy has contributed sound samples that are now on tapeframes available from Streetly. In some places you'll hardly recognize the ?Tron for what it is - and for all those instrumental contributions, the music flows with deceptive ease. There are no big walls of sound - just an easy stream of continually fluid, always different sounds - never straying from the basic themes and melodies. The vocals are varied, provided mostly by Fritz in a light mid-range. There are important contributions by Ian Loyd, members of the Doddy family, and particularly by Susan McKeown (singing in English and Gaelic) and Peiwen Chao singing in Chinese.

You have to listen to The Feeling Of Far many times. It's very pleasant on the first spin, but it sinks deeper and deeper and deeper with each subsequent spin. Yes' Jon Anderson made some very favorable remarks about this CD, calling it "magical, mystical and musically inventive" among other things. We'll leave it to Fritz to reveal the full contents of that review, but perhaps you'll feel the same way Jon and I did and this record will sink deep into your psyche and sit on that special shelf where you keep your other favorites.

Cynical Eye (6:24) / Amieveliano (6:42) / The Feeling Of Far (2:43) / It's Only a Dream (5:07) / All The Best (3:49) / In The Tree (6:09) / Over You (4:03) / God Is Hiding (2:08) / Nothing But Laughter (5:48) / The Lonely Path (5:47) / Cynical Eye (radio mix) (3:47) / It's Only A Dream (radio mix) (4:19)

Fritz Doddy, Susan McKeown, Peiwen Chao, Adrienne Doddy

various guest artists

The Feeling Of Far (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: April 19th 2005
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website:
Hits: 1516
Language: english


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