In his brooding single “Farewell, Farewell Adieu,” critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Y. Dan Rubinstein serenades us with a blunt poeticism that exchanges enigmatic verses for relatable, homespun lyrics that appeal to the hopeless romantic in all of us. In both the music video for the song and the track itself, we’re treated to some of Rubinstein’s most mature work to date; the melody of the guitars, the gentle percussive pulsations that frame it, and the velvet-soft vocal of our lead singer are all exploited in a breathtaking show of sonic strength here. This isn’t the first time that this artist has made waves with his music, and judging from the caliber of this content, it certainly won’t be the last.
The rhythm in this song is remarkably exotic and somewhat jazz-inspired, but it never devolves into overindulgence. Rubinstein is very careful to balance out all of the flamboyant elements in “Farewell, Farewell Adieu” with shades of minimalism, which makes everything here sound and feel really even and complete. You don’t have to be a professional critic to appreciate the amount of work that must have gone into the construction of this piece, but for those of us who take music a little more seriously than most, this is a tough track to top this summer.
From the moment that the strings strum their way into focus at the start of “Farewell, Farewell Adieu,” they command our attention. They’re the undisputed centerpiece of this song, with Rubinstein structuring his elegant vocal around their soft, decadent melodies. This isn’t to dismiss the contribution of the other components in the track – far from it – but more to acknowledge what the ultimate foundation of this composition is. Y. Dan Rubinstein doesn’t want to communicate his narrative via one channel exclusively in “Farewell, Farewell Adieu;” he’s using everything at his disposal, starting with the glamorous guitars, in telling us this aching story of love and loss.
I seriously dig the depth in this master mix. The levels are adjusted so that the instrumentation sounds really surreal, as though the band were playing in our living room instead of within the four walls of a recording studio. Rubinstein has a way of making his vocal performances feel intimate no matter what the setting may be, but personally I found his singing in “Farewell, Farewell Adieu” to be one of his most captivating in-studio moments thus far in his career (which is no small statement to make when considering the amazing work he’s turned in these last few years).
Haunting, bittersweet and deeply moving, Y. Dan Rubinstein’s “Farewell, Farewell Adieu” is among the most sensuous acoustic-based ballads that I’ve heard all season long, and if you’re as discriminating an audiophile as I am, I think that you’re likely going to find it as charming and utterly heartfelt as I did. Rubinstein has been dishing out some really powerful work in the last three years, and although he’s yet to achieve the mainstream attention that so many of the artists in his scene so desperately pine for, I have a feeling that he isn’t going to stay under the radar for much longer. With a talent like his, it’s hard to imagine him not breaking out of the underground a lot sooner than later.