Cold Irony

Ordinary Time (Megaforce Records)
Bill Ricchini

By Kevin Gibson

Recorded in a bedroom, Ordinary Time is a lush and complex creation by singer-songwriter Bill Ricchini, one that evokes emotion and mood and conjures up a variety of influences and themes. It is at once a lullaby and a wake-up call, soothing the listener's ears while stimulating the brain.

Eighteen songs stretch out over a single canvas in this collection of music that explores duality, memory and irony. And cold. (The liner note asserts, "This is a summer album about the winter.") That forthright irony comes through even in the music, as Ricchini sings about "snowman blues," "making angels in the snow" and "Christmas trees trimmed with hand grenades" while creating subtle reproductions of 1960s pop, rife with tambourines, occasional fuzz guitars, soft keyboards and catchy melodies.

This is not an album to sing along to while driving to work; it is an album you play before falling asleep, snuggled under your comforter with headphones tight around your ears. If you give in to the music and Ricchini's subtle intentions, you just might find yourself with a trace of a smile at the corner of your lips and the moist beginnings of a teardrop at the edge of the eye.