Collective Memory
Production company: BuckNaked Productions
Format: CD
Release date: 2002

It is refreshing to listen to music with conviction. The mainstream music industry continues to push product with little depth, meaning, or feeling while artists looking to express individuality and artistic creativity seemed to be pushed to the fringe. One of these artists is Farbeon representing Queens, New York by way of Arizona and El Paso, Texas. His first solo effort, Collective Memory is not only a reflection of the man, his struggles, and ideas, but a call to anyone listening to strive and keep moving. The album produced by Foundation is eight tracks long, but in that span of time much is said, and you get an opportunity to know the feelings and thoughts of an artist deeply concerned with the world around him as well as his role within it.

The personal reflections and proclamations of shortcomings, missteps, and triumphs on Collective Memory compare favorably with artists such as Slug in their honesty, passion, and insightfulness. An accomplished poet as well, the fusion of spoken word throughout the CD creates a very powerful style that keeps you tuned in. “Trying To Make Sense” is one example of the personal reflections throughout the album. Farbeon laments on trying to come to terms with his role in the world and his own actions in his everyday life, as he repeats in the refrain “trying to make sense/every now and then you get lost in your sense of fate/try to find the essence/I continue to try and make sense today/trying to make sense/I continue to try and find the right pace, the right pace.”

This personal awareness and responsibility to make the most of his actions and life are common themes on “Wasting Time,” “Invisible Man,” “Rush Hour,” and “Listen Reflect and Change.” “Rush Hour” has an upbeat keyboard with haunting strings as Farbeon’s analogy of traffic coincides with the stress of trying to get done what needs to be done. This is one of his strongest selections on the album. As he describes the difficulty of the tasks set before him and the pressures (both internal and external) he attempts to overcome, the song breaks down to a conversation between Farbeon and a friend contemplating their work lives, lamenting on all the things they wish to do with limited time. It ends with Farbeon commenting, “You can’t fight traffic.” Trying to move with the tide, having the patience to see things through, and the confidence to know it will all work out, the final lines sum it all up: “And when the sun sets I’ll be right next to you/live a life that’s complex, there’s nothing left to do/count it off to finish what I’ve begun/before my life is over must consider what I’ve done.” Throughout the album, Collective Memory shows the depth of an artist and presents an open look into the man that puts it down for anyone to share.

{mikal lee (hired gun)}

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