As a well-rounded artist Christopher Sluka has been able to artfully articulate himself in multiple genres, platforms, and mediums. As a singer-songwriter, musician, and performer, he has released 11 studio albums as well as accompanied these recordings with a visionary counterpart; music videos were shot and a Blu-ray video album of Introversions was released in 2016.
In addition to music-making, Sluka is also a striking visual artist, gaining global fanfare for his surrealistic oil paintings that have graced galleries from New York to San Diego, and Tokyo to Milan.
Towards the start of his career, while performing live in the New York scene, Sluka’s name was mentioned in the same breath as Tears For Fears, INXS, Talk Talk, and Simple Minds.
But more immeasurable than his experience while performing live onstage is the knowledge he gained while becoming a well-seasoned traveler.
Born in Seattle, Sluka experienced a multinational upbringing. Having been raised all around the world, his family never stayed more than a couple of years in one location, which may have attributed to Sluka’s multi-faceted and cosmopolitan musical compositions. After recording a single in Los Angeles (with Cat Gray who worked extensively with Prince), he found an attentive and appreciative audience in Japan, where he went to release two further albums. His wide-ranging catalogue includes the critically acclaimed Emotional Battlefield, Fear Of Ordinary Life, A Matter of Perception, Solo Flight, last year’s Introversions, and most recently his latest offering of Colorful Radiation.
Colorful Radiation is a departure from 2016’s classic 80’s glam Introversions. This is the case for the opening track “Number One” that carries a magical and surreal quality with solely the ukulele in the introduction. This great island flavor climbs to a climax when the drums joins in, working in the rhythms to the center of the track. The electric sound has a really great vibe on keys with layers of harmonies from the vocals acting as a theatrical aspect. This track distinctly has a Beatles feel with powerful vocals and music that will keep you pumped.
“Virga” starts out with a great piano melody. The sonic blast of great harmonies on the piano with drums sidling in on the sidelines produces a buoyant and resounding sound. Vocals cast a bewildering soundscape with loud, clashing drums and a soaring ambiance like the crashing of waves. This song is different from the raging sound in the previous track. The vocal range, here, really radiates.
“Rising” is brimming with an amped feel coming from the energized keys. There is a bit of Americana running through the song, laden with sailing vocal harmonies resplendent with a Western feel that also has a country-twang vibe to it. The track is fused with uplifting layers; a positive force definitely paves the way for a more optimistic sound. The energetic rhythms are an additional force as the chorus chants “rises” in this track that Sluka effortless suffuses his righteously fervent vocals.
“Tease Me” starts out with energetic keys. Evident from the get-go is an overall hyped feel to the piano playing. Sluka’s chilling vocals freezes out all bad intentions and give out a soaring and positive vibe. A blend of alternative rock and melodious piano playing, the track harnesses a free-spirited wall of energy.
On a more serious note, “A Mode Of Joy” opens up on a more melancholy tone. As a reprieve, the more dream-like connotations to the track makes this enchanting tune more celebratory.
“Slinging Slights” has a strong bass line that keeps up with the rhythm section to the track as well as incorporating the guitar and drums that gradually join in the rest of the harmonics. There is a fervent feel as the soaring synths, reverberating guitars, and echoing vocals attempt to successfully keep up with the great electric vibe. This song emanates a great rock feel as traces of piano runs beneath the gamut of the track.
Serious piano music plays on “Arepeggiate” that sets a steady urgent tone. Evident on the track is also a kind of haunting lilt and an ominous tone is also present as well as this sets up the stage for something dramatic to happen. The piano melody slows down to accompany Sluka’s deliberately winding vocals. The song shifts between an upbeat piano-based melody and a more down-tempo style to the singing. These shifts in style and modulation will keep listeners on their toes.
“Cold War” mixes in social commentary and piano-based soundscapes, layered in with the sound of lush string instrumentals to create a riveting ballad. The song weaves in Sluka’s expressive singing which directly speaks to listener’s souls as they zero in on Sluka’s voice as he belts out the harmonies to this resonating track.
“Visceral Repercussions” has a classical rock sound laden with rollicking guitars and reverberating vocals that can definitely fill a stadium. The combination of soothing vocals and steady rhythms makes this song a surprising find. Layered with soft singing, the instrumentals nearly overpower the vocals, here, but the sound of singing never lets up – but continues on like a beacon of light at the end of a tunnel.
The last track to Colorful Radiation is “Metaphor,” a buoyant piano-laden track. The tight musicianship on this colorful song wells up with purpose as the drums join in mid-track. Beatific strings accompany the piano and drums, closing the album with a bit of drama.
A blend of alternative and classic rock infuse these piano-clad songs. Oftentimes operatic, Colorful Radiation stuns with its stellar sound and with Sluka’s eye-opening gift for theatrics. His rare showmanship will make you believe again.
A generous foray into the heart, these eclectic rock tunes will definitely sate the thirst for some first-rate rock music. This is suspenseful music, celebratory of lives and great storytelling. Alongside these alluring narratives are bursts of Sluka’s artistic vocals. Surrender to the ethereal sounds of Sluka today!
All 10 songs off Colorful Radiation will be part of a visual album shot in 3D and to be released as a combo 3D, 4K, and Blu-ray package on Amazon late Summer 2017. 7.7/10