Without shame, we have a bias at The Ark of Music: the DIY artist. And, Sydney, Australia-based singer-songwriter, Robbie Maroon, is just that—writing, composing, arranging, and producing all of his own material. (Basically, he does everything but play guitar.)
We can also relate to the impetus of his musical vocation: A serendipitous Prince concert when he was a teenager. That show was all it took for music and performing to become Maroon’s calling.
Debuting in 2017 with his first album, Dream Factory Volume 1, Robbie has wasted no time turning that record into a budding franchise with his latest effort, Dream Factory Volume 2, a worthwhile, funk-infused delight of an album.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
A spacey, Duran Duran-esque melody forms the backbone of, Sorry, a tale of lost love straight from the best part of the 80’s.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
Complicated feels like a quintessential, jazz-lounge, piano-man track. The melody soothes. The lyrics comfort. The vocals do both…
“So we all hang on and pray for what we need
And we’re trying to be stronger to find what we seek
When it all seems lost, then comes misery
So we find that stronger and strive towards our dreams…”
Prince’s influence is strong and inspiring in Kind of Grey…
“I wish I could stop pain
I’d take it away from you
You would never have to feel it again…”
Funked-out bliss melds with cathartic writing in our second favorite track, Get Up, Stand Up, a four-minute ride that feels a bit like Stevie Wonder cut a track with former Australian pop-rock gods, INXS.
In an uncomplicated ode to fierce love, New Day, like many songs on this album, feels so entirely familiar. The melody line, the lyrical content, the harmonies, all of it feels like the best parts of my musical childhood growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Give it a listen and tell me I’m wrong.
Concluding the project is, Stepping Stone, a track whose minimalist, emotive simplicity acts as a summary for the entire project. (It could easily also be our favorite track.) Slightly dark and moving verse juxtapose with yet another cathartic chorus experience in this journey tale…
“Roll the dice, just play the game
Where they fall, no one’s to blame…”
Soothing. Comforting. Connecting. Damn likable. In his sophomore effort, Dream Factory Volume 2, Robbie Maroon finds a way, song-after-song, to place various cathartic musical elements together while keeping his melodies simple and relatable. Basically, it’s like this: there are no spare parts in this music. Every element fits. Every instrument adds-to. Every melody emotes. It’s that simple—though it’s not simple to execute; revealing that Maroon has instincts which one cannot develop. One either has them—or—one does not. All in all, Robbie has shown growth and added depth in his musical evolution. This is a fine, fine effort for the budding DIY artist.
Michael Hutchence meets George Michael…
BELOW: Listen to Robbie Maroon’s album, Dream Factory Volume 2, and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support Robbie Maroon by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!