Caruso – Is Like So by Alan Caruso

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Don’t you love having a friend you can turn to when you’re having an existential crisis, only to find out that his case is worse than yours, so you just keep each other company and exchange big questions and doubts? But what happens at the darkest time of night when you’re all by yourself and it’s you vs. your thoughts? Well.. you don’t need more questions in your head. I’ll answer this one for you; Alan Caruso has made a trusting, comforting friend simulation in the shape of music. His EP, “Caruso – Is Like So…”, will sit with you in the dark, think with you, wonder with you, and even give you some answers and optimism.

“Caruso – Is Like So…” is a three-track EP that lasts less than ten minutes, but its impact lasts much longer than that. Once you hear it, you’ll find yourself playing it over and over again till your head cools down from all the mess it has made, and the floating question marks start falling one by one.

The EP isn’t made to be a big hit that entices you with its sound and gets you addicted. It’s rather stripped back with a peculiar feel. Nonetheless, the fusion of Rock, Folk, and Americana with acoustic guitars and organs flowing smoothly alongside the vocals with the minimal arrangement is more than sufficient. You might find it a little odd compared to everyday music, but it gets you hooked in its own unique way since the lyrical themes can connect with you in a deep manner, speaking through the most intricate thoughts that your mind is immersed in.

I have to admit that this EP can be a little triggering. It has the ability to rub salt into your wounds while still not causing you much pain, for it will try to point out the medicine as it points out the disease. And as it has gloomy vibes, it will add playful, hopeful rays to lighten the mood.

It will start getting into your head with “Do I Serve A Purpose?” And as Caruso describes it, and I’m totally on board, “that’s the million-dollar question.” I doubt that there’s a single person on Earth who hasn’t asked themselves that question and hasn’t felt worthless at some point. The lyrics entice you by narrating different scenarios of people doubting themselves, making you see yourself in them, feel their agony, but also feel delighted that it’s not just you with this burden. The storytelling attitude in the mellow vocals makes you more compassionate than harsh on yourself and lures you to see how this story ends. With the delicate musical composition, sprinkling optimism, which is given by the end, with the lyrics taking an endearing detour.

“Getting Clean” speaks about another dilemma in life that people suffer from when they lose hope, stop searching for answers, and try to find an escape. The easiest and bumpiest route is an addiction; using and drinking to get your head wiped. Brilliantly, the song indicates another toxic solution, which is drowning yourself in something that’s as bad as chemical addiction, a mindset that you need to detox from.

Just when you think that EP can’t press harder on your grandest, darkest fears, it hits you with the big finale. “Michelangelo’s David.” complements the big question in the first track with an even bigger question, as they come as a duo to hunt you down at night. “I wonder if anyone will remember me!” After wondering if you’ve got a purpose, you have got to follow this query by wondering what you are leaving behind. Will your name be remembered? Or will you be just another person who lived and died? The lyrics conjure up this thought if it exists, or plant it if it’s not, then swing you between memorable lives like Michelangelo, Beethoven, and Dostoevsky, highlighting some aspects of their lives that you might haven’t noticed. What a way to wrap up this profound, one-of-a-kind philosophical set!

This EP was recorded during the pandemic’s lockdown, so what I see from here is that an intelligent, sincere, and talented artist in his own quirky way got locked up, and he unleashed his trapped notion to keep him company, willing or unwilling, and luckily, he decided to keep us company with his work of art.