Every so often an album comes along which causes you to slap your forehead in amazement and grope for a chair. ‘Drums by Candlelight’ is just such an album. It fills an important niche in the music market; one which surprisingly has long remained empty. In these days of crass commercialism it is common for albums to recycle hackneyed themes. I normally avoid any album with ‘Candlelight’ in the title, but if there is one which confounds a doubtful first impression it is ‘Drums by Candlelight’.
While superficially appearing to follow in the illustrious footsteps of Richard Clayderman, this album offers so much more. The album track list offers the first clue to the hidden treasures which await. Timeless classics such as ‘Locked out of Heaven’ by Bruno Mars sit comfortably beside lesser known works such as “Hooker with a Penis’ by Tool. As if ‘Drums by Candlelight’ were not enjoyment enough, there are two bonus albums thrown in for those who purchase ‘Drums by Candlelight’ in a timely fashion. This suggests that Bradley and Mulholland are anticipating significant sales.
While it has been difficult to single out one particular track for attention, I have settled on Whitney Houston’s ‘I’ve always loved you’ for comment. This is where Reuben Bradley’s drum chops are most evident. Here he has surpassed himself by what can only be described as an implied beat. The meditative state that he evokes through his skilful use of space is only broken once the drumstick falls (after a bar or two). Crisp and to the point, the surrounding silence speaking volumes. I am also impressed by Bradley’s impeccable dress sense and Mulholland’s tasteful promotion. It has been hard to find adequate words for such a towering achievement but perhaps a simple WOW will suffice.