“Innocence” by Force For Good
Album Review by Dyan Garris
“’Innocence’ is breathtakingly beautiful, vibrant, and visionary music that will inspire and uplift you on every level. Extraordinary!” – Dyan Garris
Force For Good founder, Grammy® nominated recording artist Jonathan Sprout, is a man on a mission. He has assembled an incredible artistic team whose goal is to highlight those in the world who are making a positive difference. Along with this, the mission is to inspire others to positive action as well as encourage action, kindness, and understanding through the inspiration of music and film.
“Innocence” is the 2nd album in the Force For Good series. The first CD was “Passions,” released in February of 2020, which I also had the privilege of reviewing. Gorgeous, passionate, and uplifting, this IS music that makes a difference.
Force For Good is an impressive group that consists of Jonathan Sprout, Leslie Chew, Hillary Black, Rodney Whittenberg, and Joe Mennonna. The album is 14 tracks of outstanding, spirit-elevating music. It’s expansive, hopeful, bright, and “feel good” on every level. The production is phenomenal, as is all else here.
This is a very inspiring and uplifting project, with each song addressing a global/societal issue. As well, most of the songs have/will have an accompanying film. It’s one aspect that makes Force For Good something to remember. These are not music videos. They are films, works of art unto themselves.
“Natural,” the opening song on the album, “Innocence,” is upbeat, positive, and optimistic, and features Joe Mennonna on mandocello and electric bass, and Jonathan Sprout on acoustic 12-string guitar, along with Leslie Chew on electric guitar. This will definitely get you started on your day and in a good way. Love it, and what a great opening to this album.
“Uplifters” is deep and sweet at the same time. The build in this song is wonderful, as is the ebb and flow. Passionate piano, cello, guitars; it’s wonderful, and you cannot help but feel the life force flowing through your every cell. Rejuvenating.
“Reverence” is 7 minutes of just that. An utterly gorgeous piano melody with gentle orchestration gives this an expansive, universal feel that speaks to the soul, expands us effortlessly, and reminds us that we are all one. I love the plucks and percussion that show up around 2:24. This is a definitive favorite.
If I have it right, “Vinyasa” is a kind of yoga that incorporates a “breathing system” that helps to unify the delicate balance between breath and movement. What a gorgeous melody here in the song, “Vinyasa,” and there is this perfect dance between passion, life force, and gentleness that is found throughout this album. It’s like a perfectly choreographed ballet. Truly mesmerizing, captivating, and outstanding in every way.
“Wilderness” begins with a sweet flute melody. The other orchestration is multi-textured and varied. One could envision themselves in the serene wilderness quite easily. I don’t know if I’m right, but I have the idea that Jonathan has a vision of the film in his head and then writes the music. I say that because the music is so multi-dimensional. Maybe it happens for him somewhat simultaneously. My point is that the music is so alive on so many levels. The films bring everything together on an even different level. And so, I feel like the whole thing – both film and music – happens in a visionary kind of way rather than some kind of linear fashion. That’s the best way I can describe it, because really, I feel like this music is almost beyond mere words.
A few other notes: “Hunger,” “Plastic,” “Oceans,” all if it, really, is so beautiful, it may bring you to tears. And, just as one small example of the uniqueness and beauty found here, about halfway through the piece, “Oceans,” the music changes from a gorgeous, soul-stirring piano piece into a lively Celtic kind of vibe. It’s exactly like our oceans.
The album closes out with the majestic, flowing, “Wind.” Perfect, perfect! Piano, guitars, and accompanying instrumentation make this melodic track a wonderful close. It made me smile. Too, another unique identifier here: There are 3 brief (each a few seconds), acoustic tracks at the end 12, 13, and 14, which represent “Force” “For” “Good” respectively. Very cool.
As I said, there is something just quite extraordinary about this music. You will want to get the whole album and keep up with the film releases. There’s nothing here to not totally and completely love on every level. It’s not just music. It’s a vision. To quote Jonathan Sprout, the founder of Force For Good, “Let’s create a bold and visionary world that is not driven by fear but inspired by hope.” THAT is this album.
Official artist website:
Get “Innocence” here:
https://www.forceforgoodmusic.com/music and all digital platforms February 1, 2021.
Produced by Jonathan Sprout and Joe Mennonna
Engineered by Joe Mennonna
Recorded at Pine River Sound, Wurtsboro, NY and Double Rainbow Studio, Los Angeles, CA
Technical consulting and some guitar engineering by Leslie Chew
Mixed by Joe Mennonna
Mastered by Leslie Chew at Double Rainbow Studio
Watercolor painting: “Bubble Girl” by Carol Sprout
Photographs by Hillary Black
Multi-instrumentalist Joe Mennonna played all keyboards, woodwinds, and brass instruments and performed MIDI programming including cello and bass viol, percussion, and strings.