Listen Up: Wednesday, November 16, 2005
files\2005-11-16\lup3_11-16.jpg
PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Rahim Quazi

Big Black Box (Self-released)

By Jimmy Fowler

The word “precocious” might be unlikely when applied to a 40-year-old musician, but there’s a youthful, inventive exuberance that infuses Rahim Quazi’s debut solo full-length disc, Big Black Box: As suggested by the tune “Chorus for the Unborn,” the Metroplex-based singer, instrumentalist, and songwriter has just entered a new childhood of possibilities after 15 years gestating as a sideman in various bands. Quazi co-produced Black Box’s 10 sweet and clever but often morose tunes with Pleasantry Lane Studio mentor Salim Nourallah, and their sensibilities merge so smoothly they almost function as one: Both favor chamber-pop flourishes of violin and flute on otherwise traditional folk-rock arrangements, and neither is afraid to indulge a sense of humor even amidst bleak material.

As a cultural artifact, the album chronicles Quazi’s painful split and divorce from his first wife, but the singer-songwriter may have patented a new mood with these introspective and generous pieces — sunny melancholy. The title track refers to a mental imaging exercise a friend suggested — put the overwhelming emotions into a big black box, stick them in a closet, and take them down when you’re ready to confront them. “Coffeebreak” begins with a very lonely plinking piano, and Quazi’s high, boyish voice sounds more than ever like he’s standing on the brink of a maturity he doesn’t want: “Looks like love is on a coffeebreak / Looks like God has found a heart to break.” “A Different View” is festooned with grim squalls of electric guitar but still works up to a gallop as the idea of seeing the world fresh after a break-up is relaxed into. “Someone feels that they’re growing old too fast” he observes delicately at one point, but Big Black Box suggests that time and experience have dropped Quazi the solo artist smack in the middle of career springtime.


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions