MISHAWAKA--Cody Fry’s new release on Jan. 21 is one which features an orchestra backing Fry’s and Ben Rector’s voices. It was released as an album, although it only consists of seven songs and 23 minutes in runtime. Traditionally, albums need to have 30 minutes of content or ten songs on the record, but in this case there is enough content in those 23 minutes to constitute an album or two.
Cody Fry has been flirting with writing with orchestras ever since his viral song, “I Hear a Symphony,” and his live concert album with Cory Wong and the Metropole Orkest called “Live in Amsterdam,” released on Nov. 17, 2017, and April 3, 2020, respectively.
Here is where I get into a little more of an opinion. For each of the songs, I am going to breakdown what is going on musically in my pseudo-music speak.
“Caves” - This is a star-wars inspired piece, which sets up the song following it. When I hear it, I think of the reverence that comes along with the unknown of a cave.
“Underground” - It starts with Cody Fry and his guitar, and as he finds out more about where he is the orchestra comes in and the world becomes more tangible to the speaker.
“Eleanor Rigby” - Although I believe this song has been covered by way too many artists, this version breathes life into a song that is considered stale in more recent years.
“Sailboat” - Heavy textures of strings give a foundation to the vocal harmonies of Ben Rector and Cody Fry.
“More Than the Day Before” - The falsetto of Cody Fry along with the flutes and piano speaks to how carefully this song was constructed to give emotions with each word he is singing, especially in the section where he describes not believing in what he said. The strings change in their register and provide a contrasting tone to the rest of the piece.
“I Hear a Symphony” - This is a live version of the piece that made his orchestra arrangements popular. There is a reason it became viral; it is powerful.
“Photograph” - Starting the same way he starts many of his pieces in this collection, he plays the piano, and the orchestra slowly and carefully finds its way to provide the texture to his moments and emotions.
Overall, I enjoyed this album, and the orchestra pushes these songs into a memorable category, wherein I will be listening to these songs repeatedly for days and weeks and months to come. This album is available on many music platforms as well as in video form on YouTube at Symphony Sessions (Full Performance) - Cody Fry.