Croatian Amor ~ A Part of You in Everything

A Part of You in Everything is a kind, life-affirming album that seeks to answer one of life’s biggest questions: what happens to us after we die?

The album is dedicated to Croatian Amor‘s younger brother, who died at birth.  Someone once told him that his brother “lived in the stars.”  When the artist had a son of his own, these words came back.  What could have been grief became gratitude, and this album is now dedicated to his “ghost friend.”  While wistful, the music is never sad; while reflective, it is also imaginative. A slew of friends join the artist for this venture, adding an additional layer of warmth.

On some tracks, the pitched, looped vocals recall the voices of children; on others, they convey the comfort of an adult.  The first words spoken in “My Brother (is a Star)” are “all angels meet again,” a theme that will resurface throughout the set.  On “Dancer,” Alto Aria stretches for the heavens while the music beckons listeners to the dance floor; the repeated phrase “nobody knows” is more hopeful than resigned.  The following title, “Still Possible,” extends this consideration.  Is Little Brother still here?  If so, where?  If he can be felt, is above, or beside, or all around?  If “All Angels Meet Again,” Croatian Amor offers reason for hope, as these words launch the listener into a stream of echoes, like light from a distant star.  You can call me.

The album has a peaceful, accepting tone, personified by the waves of “Tulip Coupon.”  Similar sounds, watery and pristine, hover in the background of “Any Path to Touch the Stars.”  Spoken word and soft vocal combine, urging the listener to “not be afraid.”  The dance beat pauses in the second minute and disappears in the third, giving way to a gossamer-thin, bvdub-like timbre.  In “Kites,” the line about angels is repeated, unifying the set.  The music references The Orb, ending in a short yet edifying sample, “a dream after a dream.”  We don’t actually know what happens to us after we die, but even without referencing religion, we can imagine a universe that is graceful enough to preserve what is loved, and transform it into something eternal.  (Richard Allen)

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