Riding on the coattails of his very own project last year, KGFREEZE, aka Kyle Gervais, has put together another one, this time enlisting prominent local musicians and friends to add their talents to the mix, including Sara Hallie Richardson, Dominic Lavoie and Spencer Albee, to name a few.

The new CD, “Volunteer,” is a high-energy, electronic and sarcastically irreverent slice of humble pie for a guy who created an almost entirely solo project just one year ago. Showing the world his magnanimous and intuitive spirit, he gets props from this listener for being able to step his ego back and invite others on board for some spot-on collaboration. This is a talent in its own right, aside from creating the music.

He keeps his integrity in check throughout the album’s making, even when his very talented friends step into the spotlight.

With a dream-like quality, hypnotizing beats and electronic riffs, the meat of “Volunteer” is a cohesive mix of tracks that waver from the zestful “Power and Status” to the David Bowie-inspired vocals of “Silver Briefcase,” to the laid-back R&B-influenced track “Better Falsetto.”

In “Top Secret,” Sara Hallie Richardson lends her unique voice and style to Gervais’. The combination is quite delightful and makes for a good change of pace heading toward the middle of the album.

“Talk About Love” creates a lusty and groovy sensation. Using layers to build the structure of the song, it is drum-beat and vocally driven, with mood-building keyboard accents and then tastefully placed electric guitar to widen the breadth of the song’s appeal.

But you don’t notice why you are enjoying the song so much, you just know that you enjoy texture, and you can sink your teeth into this one.

The lively “Song,” brings Richardson back on board, this time leading the track vocally. She and Gervais easily carry the duo status here, taking turns, stepping in and out, then coming together in vocal harmonies.

The tune could be one of meditation or dance. It has a certain quality that can lend to either, which is not an easy feat to accomplish.

All in all, “Volunteer” is a musical odyssey, a dip into the expressive and innovative collaborative minds of a few genuinely artistic and passionate human beings, and coming out on the other side, refreshed and content and swathed in knowing that you just experienced the good stuff.

Kristin DiCara-McClellan is a Portland freelance writer. Contact her at:

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