A review of Mosaic of Disarray by Nick de Grunwald

Reviewed by Mark Logie

Mosaic Of Disarray
Channel D (Artist) | Format: Audio CD
Jan 2013, 4V Music

Nick de Grunwald, the British television producer and driving force behind Mosaic of Disarray, deserves to be a big name in music. The thirteen songs are a well-balanced mix of darkness, poignancy, cheerfulness and folksiness. The songs range from the funky bleakness of “Channel D” through ballads and rock songs to the nightmarish unearthliness of “The Other”.

“Channel D” (the first song) is certainly the darkest. It is a biting satire on those addicted to watching death and despair on the television news channels. Its ironic, sometimes frantic, tone underlines the voyeuristic aspect of watching other people’s suffering as entertainment. The strong slow beat, perfectly executed saxophone riffs and solos, frenetic bass and undulating synthesiser notes help
make this song an unforgettable experience.

“No Happy Ever After” contains sadness, anger and an overwhelming sense of powerlessness with de Grunwald’s higher-pitched singing in this song suiting the mood perfectly. (A minor quibble: using the word “shitholes” strikes a jarring note, I think, because its coarseness just doesn’t quite fit the atmosphere created by the other songs.

In “Waiting for You”, the aching loneliness of the words combines with a rousing beat and heart-piercing guitar work to produce a bittersweet interlude between “The Other” and “Redemption” , which is a joyful and, at times, poignant song. Its overriding impression is one of hope and de Grunwald’s singing style, which is more full-bodied than in “Channel D”, reflects this. The title too helps charge the song with optimism.

The closing song, “Wondrous Times”, shows off de Grunwald’s voice at its best — he sings beautifully here — and the slow, tender melody takes me back to the gentler songs of my youth.

Nick de Grunwald (guitarist, lead singer and main songwriter) is a good performer with an engaging voice, handling the songs’ complex rhythms confidently and elegantly. However, his laid-back delivery
occasionally comes a touch too close to impassivity for my liking. Overall, though, it is a stunning collection of songs, brilliantly performed. It is an easy album to like and, as it says in “Redemption”: “can’t get them out of my head/ Oh God, I love those songs, play them again and again/”.

Couldn’t ask for more from an album.

About the reviewer:  Born in Camberwell, southeast London, Mark Logie has always been a keen reader and from about the age of nine started writing the occasional story for his own pleasure. Over the next few years, an interest in filmmaking distracted him from writing; later on, he worked briefly as a runner for a video production company, before turning back to writing. His first novel for young adults, “Deadfall” (a thriller for 12-year-olds and older about terrorism and computer-hacking), was published in 2012, the Kindle edition reaching number 15 in the Amazon bestseller list for its category. Also, Mark Logie’s poetry and short fiction for adults have won awards from CanYouWrite and ABC Tales. [You can e-mail him at mark.ih.logie@gmail.com]