Sunday, November 11, 2012

Leonard the Lonely Astronaut - A Review

They built a spaceship behind a burrito place. They actually built a ship and recorded an album in it. Whether you think it’s the height of nerdiness or coolness (or both), it shows Andrew Osenga's devotion to this idea.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds. It’s a concept album, about a character named Leonard Belle. Leonard lives in the not-too-distant future, a place when spaceships can move at the speed of light. His life is falling apart. When his wife dies in the midst of a divorce, he finally goes off the deep end. Giving up everything, he takes a job on a space-freighter that will deliver supplies to a far-off outpost. Moving at light-speed, it will only be a year for him, but when he returns to Earth, everyone he knows will be dead. Leonard is pretty desperate to escape his problems. As a catharsis on his year-long journey, he decides to make an album.

I have no idea where the idea came from, but it’s pretty dang original. The result is very true to the idea—it sounds like something a middle-aged guy named Leonard would make, a sort of space-80’s-acoustic-rock mix-up. There are long soulful electric guitar solos, upbeat rock songs, jazzy laments. It’s got a good chunk of catchy songs that I’m still able to enjoy after quite a few listens. My younger brother, who is notorious for his neutrality on music, loves it.

In the end, to risk spoilers, Leonard realizes that going to space isn’t the answer to his problems, and he’s just as lonely as before. “It was not good for man to be alone,” he sings in the song of that name. It doesn’t feature too many great profound statements about humanity, but sometimes something jumps out and surprises me. Anyway, the subject matter is definitely above average stuff-on-the-radio, and it’s great fun to listen to. By and large, a good offering from Andrew Osenga.

Also. He’s wearing a home-made spacesuit on the tour.


You can get it here or on iTunes.


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