Album Review || Craig Connelly – One Second Closer
Craig Connelly released his debut album One Second Closer and has already received lots of praise from fans and critics alike!
Craig Connelly‘s long awaited debut album dropped last week and did immensely well. At the time of release, One Second Closer debuted at the #3 and #8 spots on the UK and US iTunes charts, respectively. Connelly has been a staple in the trance scene since 2010. He is responsible for numerous remixes of Gareth Emery, Ferry Corsten, Lange, Andy Moor, John O’Callaghan and Aly & Fila tracks as well as eleven Beatport Trance chart-topping singles. Connelly is obviously a talented producer and after taking a listen to One Second Closer, no one can deny that. This album takes listeners on an emotional ride! It shows Connelly’s range within trance, mainly progressive and uplifting, and his ability to use powerful vocals to tell an impassioned story.
The journey on the album is as much about the listeners’ experience as it is mine creating it, so my listeners can define One Second Closer however they like. Personally, I experience it as my journey from where I was to where I want to go, the passing of time, and also my journey to ultimately the end of my days where I believe I’ll see my father again. We’re all on a limited timeline and our time can be up in a heartbeat so we should spend every day doing what we absolutely love, keeping the end in the back of your mind helps you enjoy the present.
– Craig Connelly
Get to know more about Craig Connelly better by checking out our in-depth interview HERE!
Stream Craig Connelly – One Second Closer on Spotify:
Craig Connelly – One Second Closer Track By Track Review:
01 – “Alive”
Alive is a beautiful track that sets up the emotions that are to come for the remainder of the album. On this track, Connelly relied heavily on the use of nature to set the scene. The composition of the piece evoked a sense of wide-eyed realization or awakening. The track initially starts very low but gradually increases as sounds begin to layer and add depth. This occurs for about one minute before the sounds are stripped and the track is reduced to its core. The kick drum begins to propel the track forward and the experience begins again with layers of sounds until the music crescendos, peaks then minimizes. Throughout the track, my focal points were the raw sounds of instruments. Connelly employs the use of drums, pianos, and violins, which are clearly audible and masterfully add depth to the track. Alive is hands-down one of my favorites of the album. It is refreshing, emotional, and took me through multiple phases, so much so that I found myself reflecting on the piece in awe. Alive ends exactly as it began with ambient sounds, birds tweeting, and an overall sense of peace and calm.
02 – “We Are”
This track features the vocals of Emma Connelly, Craig Connelly’s sister. This track clearly shows the talent that lies within the Connelly family. “We Are” is very a very progressive track. Additionally, Emma Connelly’s voice is beautiful and in certain instances sounded very similar to Annie Lennox.
03 – “Light the Way”
This track features the vocals of Kat Marsh. The lead up is a wonderment of string instruments. The orchestral composition beautifully leads us to an up-tempo club sound that mirrors a synthesis of disco and electronic. This track definitely has the potential to become a successful club hit.
04 – “How Can I”
This track was the sensational lead single that also came with every iTunes pre-order. The record features the amazingly powerful vocals of Jessica Lawrence, who also appears later on the album. “How Can I” is very progressive and pulled me in immediately. In my opinion, it’s the first track on the album that gave me that classic recognizable Craig Connelly progressive feel.
Check out Craig Connelly feat. Jessica Lawrence – “How Can I” on YouTube:
05 – “Battleground”
On “Battleground”, Craig Connelly teams up with fellow DJ, Don Dobson, and features the soothing voice of Elle Vee. I honestly have so much love for this track as the music reminds me of light breakbeat. Listening to the track, and the vocals, I was reminded of some of Hybrid’s older tracks which I am absolutely enamored with. This paired with Elle Vee’s light and airy voice, and at times, chopped vocals, make “Battleground” one of the most unique tracks on the album.
06 – “Out of Orbit”
This is one of the most fun and carefree tracks on the album. Connelly begins with the uptempo progressive sound. He then layers a conversation between launch control and mission control of an unknown rocket launch. As the final words “clear to launch” are spoken, the track launches a salvo of stunning sounds upon my ears.
07 – “Stay”
This is the second appearance on One Second Closer by Jessica Lawrence. It’s no surprise that Connelly would use her enchanting voice in multiple tracks. This track is similar to “How Can I” in that it is also about intimate relationships, as shown through the lyrics, “Do I stay, do I turn away from you?”
08 – “Black Hole (Reprise)”
As someone who was absolutely enamored by the original, I tried very hard to listen to this track with a clear mind. In this version, Connelly changed the arrangement, hence the reprise label. Thankfully, this version does not lose the original feel and for some, it may even be more powerful and emotional due to the modified composition.
09 – “Elevate”
This track blends two unlikely worlds — heavy metal and trance. On “Elevate”, Connelly’s uplifting trance melodies are paired with the gritty vocals of Renny Carroll, lead singer of heavy metal band Forever Never. Connelly took a gamble with this unorthodox mashing of sounds and it paid off immensely as “Elevate” seems to be one of the clear fan favorites.
10 – “Home”
On “Home”, vocalist Sue Carroll emanated energy and pure love with every word. Connelly did a fantastic job creating an uplifting and moving track that is also incredibly emotional. “Home” is the type of track that is exhilarating and evokes tears to subconsciously well in your eyes. This track is a perfect synthesis of vocals and melody that worked together as though they were one.
11 – “One More Shot”
Of all the tracks on the album, “One More Shot” sounds the most like a pop song. Interestingly enough, it was also like a religious experience as Gavin Beach’s vocals definitely felt like I was being taken to church. Honestly, I expected a harmony of gospel singers to begin singing at any time. Along with the pop feel, Connelly also heavily employs the use of the piano which again lends itself to a church-like feel. Overall, I feel as though this track is unique to the album and has radio potential.
12 – “Small Box for a Big Man”
The album ends similarly to how it began. “Alive” very much signified the beginning and conversely, “Small Box for a Big Man” signified the end. Throughout the track, I had a sense of Connelly feeling as though the end was not necessarily negative but more about having a sense of being at peace. As though through all the struggle of creating this album and the events that ensued in between came to a head. Throughout the album, Connelly showed us raw emotion and once he reaches the end of the journey, he receives the stillness of being and he is at peace. I can’t help but think of the title and the composition of the track as analogous of his father’s passing.
Craig Connelly made a clear statement with his debut album. He told the trance and electronic world that he is immensely talented and in it for the long haul. One Second Closer is an album that is overflowing with raw emotion, powerful vocals, and masterfully arraigned tracks. As Connelly stated in his interview, “personally, I experience it as my journey from where I was to where I want to go, the passing of time, and also my journey to ultimately the end of my days where I believe I’ll see my father again.” There’s no denying that he did just that and took his listeners along his journey.
What were your thoughts on Craig Connelly’s debut album? Let us know in the comments!
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