The Virgo Vertigo - Tabula Rasa
by Corey Christopher
(Madison, WI, USA)
Tabula Rasa Cover
Tabula Rasa is the first full-length release by the Madison, Wisconsin based “band”, the Virgo Vertigo. The album features 15 eclectic pop-rock songs that vary from being reminiscent of mid-80s pop-rock versions of Queen and David Bowie one minute and then to the neo-Soul and neo-Funk sounds of Ci-Lo Green and Chromeo the next.
This album is all over the pop music map and no song on this album sounds the same as another does. Perhaps this is Tabula Rasa’s weakest quality as an album. But, somehow it is cohesive enough to be a pretty strong album.
The first song on the album, “Australia” starts out with a didgeridoo and thunders into a 70s style rock drum beat. The song as a whole has reminiscent qualities of Lenny Kravitz’s, “Are U Gonna Go My Way” and INXS’s, “Disappear”.
The next track, “A Song of Symphony” is a modern pop song, for better or worse, with a night club style rhythm and a RedOne style of production. The best way to describe the third track, “the Great Escape” is an “electro-funk rocked up soup”.
The guitar solo on “the Great Escape” is pretty sweet and overall the song is an interesting mix of pop music styles. “Who Wants to Go Drinking” is the first single on the album. With cheeky lyrics such as “I got some free condoms from the UHS” and “I just might take a fat girl home with me tonight”, the song seems to be meant for a college aged crowd.
An interesting departure on the album is the song, “May I Please Have the Last Dance”. This song is a blues styled track and Tory World’s voice seems to shine on this track the most out of any of the others. Hearing this track begs the question of why World does not “sing the blues” more often on Tabula Rasa?
There are also a few “pretty” power ballads such as “I Cannot Let Go” and “A Song for My Daughter”.
There are a few weaker points on Tabula Rasa. World’s voice seems to be inconsistent at times. At one point he sounds like his voice has the power to stand up against some of the best crooners in rock music and at points sounds like a Freddie Mercury or Prince.
But at other times, such as in the song “High”, World sounds uninvolved. Although the song-writing is excellent and the album is a fun listen, Tabula Rasa struggles to find its own voice among contemporary pop music because World accurately mimics many influences.
While listening to this album, you may find yourself saying, “That sounds like so and so” more than a few times. Perhaps this may be a fun experience for some. Because the songs are so darn eclectic, Tabula Rasa may struggle to find an audience.
Tory World is the sole musician, song-writer, producer, and engineer on Tabula Rasa. Additionally, the mastering, artwork, and design were executed by World as well. While listening to the album it is easy to forget that one person created Tabula Rasa, let alone someone not on a major label. The Virgo Vertigo is a one man DYI project to the core.
Although this “phenomena” is nothing new in the digital age, to hear and see it happen at this quality level by an unknown artist is very rare. World is someone who could make waves in the music business; even if this very impressive effort does nothing. Tabula Rasa is definitely an album worth checking out. There are most likely a few tracks on the album that will end up on your iPod.
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About The Writer
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.