First off, if you don’t know Caleb Straus, you need to get to know him. Add him to your playlist. To listen to his music is to know him. You can feel his pain. It is so raw, and you can’t help but to stare it in the face and go on an incredible journey with it.
For First Angel Media, I was given the task to review the output of a project from Caleb; Entries: A Collaborative Collection Of Musical Alchemy, due out May 7th. It’s dark, grungy, and it has a jazz flavor, but like no flavor you have ever tasted. It’s toxic. It’s a mix tape that someone with schizophrenia may have put together. The mastermind (Caleb) considers this collection to contain all his favorite music. And let me tell you, it has affected me. Very much unlike the music I listen to and love. This is something different. This is on another level. It really hits you in the soul and grabs your attention, and takes you on this emotional and thought-provoking ride.
I started with “The Pit“, which also features Juncture. I watched the video. I was instantly sucked in. I felt this because I have also lived it! Many of us have loved ones who suffer with addiction and know the pain that it causes. I watched the images, heard the lyrics, and FELT the anxiety. This captures that like no other song I have ever heard!
“Feel It in The Wind” (featuring The Antihero) is disturbing because makes you think about the apocalypse and what the end of our time here on earth will be like. While listening to the song, or watching the accompanying video, you can really feel the inevitable and know deep in your gut, there is nothing that can be done about it. Our fate has been determined.
The crown jewel of the whole album is definitely “On the Wings of Beez” (feat. REVillusion). It is such a hauntingly beautiful song. Caleb wrote for his best friend and guitarist Dustin Johnson, who brought him into Emzy Enzy. In 2015, Dustin passed away suddenly. It affected Caleb enough to shut down the band for a while. And even though I didn’t want to know, Caleb pulled the veil back just enough to let me get a glimpse and to feel ever so slightly that pain.
These songs take you to places you really didn’t want to go to. Again, you listen, and you feel these feelings. But without actually going through them. It’s as though he is pulling back the curtain ever so slightly and giving you a glimpse of what the raw emotion is like. But not the full dose, because that pain would be too overwhelming. Just enough to really fire the neurons in the brain to think about life, and how it can hurt.
I’ve gone through this journey with Caleb and his collaborators. I felt sad. I felt anxiety. But mostly I feel happy for having listened. In the end, I say this is an incredible work overall and I highly recommend everyone to listen to this album. And I highly recommend you all to check out Caleb Straus and all his musical projects, and check out the album collaborators too!
Caleb Straus: www.facebook.com/CalebStrausMusic
Emzy Enzy: www.facebook.com/emzyenzy42
Skeletal Shroud: www.facebook.com/SkeletalShroudMusic