Berlin-based singer-songwriter, Linus Cuno is set to release his debut album, The Art of Life in December.
The album is a wonderful showcase of Cuno’s talents. Not only as a musician but as a creator in another way too. This is because Cuno is also an artist and he painted and laid out the album art which is the first striking impression you get from the album. This first impression he manifests via his artwork is quickly followed by the equally striking musical content.
It begins with Water Under The Bridge which gets the album off to a roaring start. This track, which has already been released by Cuno, switches from a sense of bleakness to joy over its duration. This sets the tone for the rest of the album, as The Art of Life does this consistently throughout and the range Cuno can achieve is demonstrated time and time again.
Due to this, it is undeniable that Cuno has a good voice. Scratch that. A nigh-on perfect voice. One that is versatile over a number of different melodies. Throughout this album, his vocal capacity shines. With there being numerous examples where he switches from one tempo to another effortlessly. There are soulful tunes such as Why Do I Feel Sad which show the lows his voice can achieve. While more upbeat, Jamiroquai-Esque tracks, such as Shine Sister show the highs.
The way his album has been put together exfoliates this by aligning juxtaposing tracks next to one another. For example, Bad Days Good Life, a feel-good track all about taking the rough with the smooth is then followed directly by Shades of Blues, a solemn ode to lost love which is slower-paced and more contemplative. By positioning tracks in this way, the contrast in his voice can be heard clearly and his skills are showcased prominently.
Queen and My Girl is a Painter are two great tracks that demonstrate a middle ground from Cuno in this regard, and his versatility as a singer and ability to combine contrasting energies can be felt again on these songs. Overall, you come away from the album with mixed emotions about the essence of the album, but certainly impressed by his capabilities, whether or not his genre is something that typically appeals to you.
The last track on the album is the pick of the bunch though- a 9-minute symphony composed of two separate songs. Within this, the range of the rest of the album is demonstrated one final time with an empathetic finish. If you want to know if you’re going to like this album, you should listen to Master of Arts, then await a special secret track after to really understand Cuno as an artist.
While his voice is exquisite and his range is clear, it would have been nice to see him delve into more complex and varied topics in the future. This said, as a whole, the album is one that is very consistent and one that most fans of soulful, emotional and powerful compositions will be enjoying play after play.
The Art of Life is due for release on 13th of December but you can catch a premiere of the album played in full at its record release concert at Hangar 49 the evening before.
Album Art Credit: Bella Groller