ENVY OF NONE – S/T (2022)
Review by Tony Cannella
Alex Lifeson is a man that needs no introduction, but I will give him one anyway. He is the former lead guitarist for rock legends and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Rush. They are the very definition of the word iconic.
So, it is nice to step out with his new project, Envy of None. This band could not be more different from the Canadian rock legends. It’s cool to see another side of Alex. Having said that, Envy of None (having just released its self-titled debut) is its entity.
It is difficult to talk about this without mentioning who the guitarist is, but the great thing here is that this band stands on its own two feet – and it is for sure a band in every sense of the word.
Envy of None includes a talented and accomplished set of musicians. Indeed, the American singer, Maia Wynne is a star in the making; she’s already released some solo material and has had an accomplished career before joining Envy of None. Her haunting, airy vocals are a great addition to the overall vibe of the record. She’s not a screamer. She is the exact opposite. Her vocals are laid-back, and perfect for the style of music Envy of None has to offer.
Also, on bass, guitar, programming, and more are Andy Curran (formerly of the great Canadian band Coney Hatch). What about the album? The debut from Envy of None is an 11-track exercise in musical precision that taken as a whole (and not just focusing on just the “highlights”) paints an ethereal picture, wish lush, melancholic arrangements with such great vocals and songs. Songs are mature, and I guess might fall under the category of melodic alternative.
If one needs a category, descriptor of an artist. It should just fall under the category of good music. About those highlights: I was immediately taken with the opening track “Never Said I Love You”. It’s one of the more up-tempo tracks and is hands down my favorite. But there is also a case to be made for “Shadow”, “Look Inside”, “Old Strings”, “Dumb” and “Dog’s Life” (this song reminds me of the band Garbage).
I was looking forward to this release, as many people are, and while musically it was a bit of a shock to the system, it didn’t take me long to get over that shock. Envy of None is not Rush. And it’s not fair to expect them to be. Their debut is an out-of-the-box release that certainly must grow on the listener. But, once it does it, is impossible to deny the quality of the songs and the overall atmosphere.
- Never Said I Love you
- Look Inside
- Spy House
- Dog’s Life
- Kabul Blues
- Old Strings
- Western Sunset
- Maiah Wynne – Lead Vocals, Background Vocals, Keyboards
- Alex Lifeson – Guitar, Mandola, Banjo, Programming
- Alf Annibalini – Guitar, Keyboards, Programming
- Andy Curran – Bass Guitar, Synthesized Bass, Programming, Guitar, Background Vocals, Stylophone