Record Review: Fleeting Trance

by | Mar 28, 2011 | Reviews

Fleeting Trance
Oakland, CA

“Entertaining exploration and appreciation of styles”
On their third effort, Fleeting Trance explores Americana, folk, punk and reggae.  Experimental without ever being predictable, it’s this collage of elements that drives the album and forever keeps the listener guessing.  The standout track, “Wine and Beer,” is particularly nostalgic and emotive.  It is reminiscent of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals and the New England-based Session Americana, complete with sing-a-long “na, na, na’s”: “I had all questions answered when you called me a bloody bastard.  You think I’m just a fool… So drink wine, I’ll drink beer, and one thing will stay perfectly clear.  No matter what I say or do, it’s over now for me and you.”

A sensual swagger is present in “Core Us,” complete with saxophone and backing vocals, while “Sometimes Awareness” is firmly rooted in funk.  It’s contemplative with philosophical themes yet manages to maintain a straightforward approach.  Audiences of any generation can relate without guesswork: “Kids with machine guns… Are they doing what they feel?  Are they doing what they think they should?  I’m walking through the graveyard of Americans.” Above all, Charm is indicative of versatility and is very much a testament to Manasseh Bernal’s growth as an artist.  (Last Stop Records)

Recorded at Expressions Center for New Media // Mastered by Phil Void and Alex James Muscat // Produced by Amir Fassad, Manasseh and the Transient Society of Dreamers and Believers

-Julia R. DeStefano