Fata Morgana - Reviews 

Packing his debut CD with almost 75 minutes of music, Canadian axeman Scott Kroeker delivers a solid knockout punch on Fata Morgana. Kroeker is all about grooves and melodies, so even though he is as technically talented as the next shredder, he focused on creating an album with a great deal of replay value. His phrasing and tone work together to achieve this goal, and his use of acoustic guitar along with (and sometimes instead of) his distorted tones allow for an even more organic feel. Almost like a thinking man's instrumental rock, and the advantage of not having lyrics (or worse, trite sound clips from movie, radio and television shows) means that each tune can occupy a personal zone in each listener's mind - a soundtrack for life. So an excellent job here, and hopefully Kroeker stays as true to the music on his next release as he does on Fata Morgana.

Scott, I haven't received the CD yet (I don't expect it until next week), but I've been listening to the online play of your album. I can't wait to get the CD and hear the songs at true CD audio quality, but here's my review of what I've heard so far.

My overall impression is that the album is simply spectacular. I like every song on it—there's nothing I want to fast-forward through. The melodic phrasing and guitar work are reminiscent of Joe Satriani (one of my favorites). It's not imitative, but sounds inspired by. The styles are similar, but instantly identifiable. You've got a unique sound, and one that meshes well with my musical tastes.

I should add a disclaimer. I'm a pure consumer of music. I don't play, I sound terrible singing, and can't really carry a tune. I didn't participate in band in school. I got a Casio keyboard for Christmas one year as a kid, but never developed anything close to talent. I learned to pick out a few melodies and that was it. So my appreciation for music is at the level of "knowing what I like," but not necessarily understanding all the technical terms. So forgive me if some of my commentary is naive, or even completely wrong.

"Disillusion:" I love the simple, almost baroque melody that opens the track. The sudden transition to the harder melodic line with the full instrumental accompaniment is the aural equivalent of the sensation of enjoying a candy with a sweet outside, and a tart tangy interior. The first three minutes of the song are reminiscent of Joe Satriani. The following interlude channels Metallica, and the song then seamlessly transitions back to its main melodic line. During the finish, the guitar that opened the track becomes prominent again, recalling the intro, but now playing a different line. It's creative and perfectly executed.

"Endless Road": This has a superb melodic hook. The music manages to echo the two-word title. What does an endless road sound like? It sounds exactly like this song. The refrain is epic, powerful, and haunting. It would be the perfect soundtrack to a journey down an endless road.

"Angel in Ice": This one sets a more somber mood, particularly the intro. As it builds, though, there's a note of defiance. The acoustic guitar picks out an almost sorrowful melody that the electric guitar grabs and emphasizes. The two work together beautifully. By the end of the song the initially sad opening is transformed into a defiant, hopeful theme. Where "Disillusion" blended styles, this song blends emotions.

"Fata Morgana": I really like the way the acoustic guitar provides a constant bass line behind the main melody played by the electric guitar. It's a cool fusion that comes through in your other songs, but in none so well as this one. The Fata Morgana mirage is produced from a mix of layers of warm and cold air. That's a good metaphor for the layering of "warm" acoustic and "cold" electronic sounds in this song.

"Limitless Passion": This is a great track that demonstrates how an electric guitar can be wielded as a rather delicate instrument. The soaring chords are spectacular.

"La Atmosfera": Here's another excellent track that weaves similar melodic lines together, producing a rich mix of sound. I envision it like a trip though the atmosphere, starting out in the sparse region high above, represented with an almost wispy melody, traveling downward through denser and denser layers until we reach the bottom. A brilliant piece

"Transparent": The descending four-note that repeats itself again (I suspect it's echoed in the chord changes too, but my music knowledge is way too limited to know this for sure) throughout the song is a great hook. This would be great theme music for something. If life were like a TV show, this is theme I'd want to hear attached to me as I walk down the street.

"Out of the Blue": The main melodic hook fits the words "out of the blue" in meter so well that it's almost crying out for lyrics. My brain keeps inserting "comin' out of the blue." I imagine lyricists would be jumping at the chance to add lyrics to this. There's a rich bass sound to the track I like, and an almost B. B. King-ish quality to some of the guitar work.

"Crystal Clear": An interesting title for a song that, particularly at the end, is dense with sound.

"Time for Change": Here's another showcase of the power of the electric guitar, and the great things it can be made to do. A good, hard-driving bass line in this one.

"Panhead Blues": A great opening on this one. It's bluesy, but in a modern hard-rock way. This one in particular has a very unique sound; a cool fusion of jazz and rock.

"Liquid Dream State": This is another song aptly described by its title. It has a delicious, dreamy quality to it. Some absolutely amazing guitar work in it. I'm not even sure that I'm hearing a guitar. Is the sound computer enhanced, or did you really coax those high squealing notes out of an electric guitar? The song is almost restful in a way, and its seldom that you can consider a song with heavy doses of electric guitars restful, but this track manages it.

"Forever Darkness": The bass line that opens is sort of ominous. I like it. Good rhythm to this one. By the end of the song, when it's really cut loose and rocking it is impossible to listen without bobbing your head to. The nice long fade at the end is the perfect closing.

"All Things Must End": What a great way to close the album. Most of the songs on the album are a bit longer than the average radio-friendly hit. They don't seem like it, though: time flies when you're having fun. During all the other tracks, I was wondering what it would sound like if you had time to just cut loose and play. And this track nicely answers that. I love the changes in mood and theme throughout. Actually, the title of the song is a lie. All things don't have to end. For example, I'm going to put the album on repeat and listen to it again!

Finally, let me give you a big round of thanks. Thanks for making such great music. Like I said earlier, I'm just a consumer of music. I can't create it for myself (I'm not really creatively artistic in any way), but I love to partake of what others create. I know praise doesn't pay the bills, but I hope you know what a truly great service you do for the world. You actually do affect lives. I'm not much of a consumer of pop music. I don't buy the "latest thing," listen to it for a while, and then forget about it. I still listen to the first albums I bought (Dire Straits' "Brothers in Arms" and U2's "Joshua Tree") as much as I ever do. I plan to continue listening to them as long as I can (I have a bad habit of turning the volume up way too loud and expect this will one day catch up with me). Your music goes into rotation with all my other favorites: well-known artists like Rush, Metallica, Mark Knopfler, and Green Day; and indie artists that almost nobody's heard of like Wendy Colonna, Four Star Mary, and Envy Insane. Music really does affect us, shape us, and help make us who we are. There's lots of different kinds of artwork—cinema, literature, painting, architecture—but they all involve an investment of money or time that music doesn't. Music is appreciated again and again and again. I know that YOU realize this, but listeners don't always grasp this concept. I just thought you should know that some of us do, and we really appreciate it. Thanks for making some absolutely awesome music. I will spend many happy hours listening to it.

— Dr. Jeffrey Chilton

Dude, just finished listening to your cd for the umteenth time. Good stuff!!! No ass kissin here, but I like EVERY track! I especially like how you infused acoustic and electric. Most guitarist just do one or the other. Not you. Fucking sweet. I have to listen to a cd a few times to let it soak on, so thats why it took me a few days to send this. MANY props sir. I have to say that "All Things Must End", is my favorite so far. My parents raised me on all different kinds of music growing up and I am quite diverse, even though metal is my fav!But like yo, my tastes have changed as I grow older. My mom (who got me into the cool shit, digs your album too!), demanded a copy of it. Normakky, I would not just hand out a copy. But It's mom, so I had to. But I have been pushing your name around here. Hope you get some extra sales out of it. Mom was like "the sound quality is better than most pro cd's i've heard". I said, " yup, this guy don't fool around". She thinks you can hang with Satriani ( her favorite), any day. Props, keep up the good work.

My mom came to me and told me i got a cd sent...My eyes went wide open and i couldn't belive i finaly really got it !!!! I put it on and went through all the songs i did not know first and my mom was looking in amazement...She said...wow...that's some real nice music you got...So i told her the story about you and that i won the contest...After i told her excuse me...and put the volume almost as loud as it can get...and it was just brilliant...it's just the feeling the entire cd has...how it can change your mood from stressy to relaxed and you can just lay back and enjoy...It's perfect for anything...You can use it as background music for a chill party...or you can just crank it up and let the whole block enjoy it!!! Scott..you did not only make nice songs...no...you really put feel into the music...as music is ment to be...you can feel every single note...The bends...the sliding...the shredding...it all just fit's in so damn well....This is by far one of the best cd's i have got in my collection now and i dont think i will ever get bored of it...Good work Scott..be proud...be real proud !

DUUUDE!Man i have so been meaning to get by....got the cd last week and it KICKS ASS!!! why can't everybody understand what rock-n-roll is all about? I can't pick a fav. thats the sign of a great cd thanks man glad i found you on here u RAWK bro!

"dude, Scott, the cd is absolutly amazing.. i would highly recommend this to everyone out there!!! thanks so much for hookin it up man your an incredible artist. hopefully someday we will be able to have a killer jam session!! :D"

I was the lucky winner in one of Scott's contests and received his brand new CD in the mail just a little bit ago. I figured I'd share my good fortune with my friends. Fata Morgana is a beautiful collage of skillfully crafted instrumental pieces. Scott's sense of melody and timing are impeccable and his fluency in so many different styles helps to paint a complex but gorgeous musical landscape. Scott's acoustic backdrops make his music accessible to anyone, paving the way for his lead work to take things up a level, several levels at times, drawing unsuspecting listeners into areas they may not have otherwise explored. I would have to say that melodic music has never been so invigorating, nor have rock instrumentals ever been so relaxing and peaceful. Several of my coworkers have commented on the CD, even die hard classical music lovers appreciate the musicality of Fata Morgana. Give Scott's tunes a listen. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Got home from work yesterday and it was there. Splendid work sir, I generaly dont go for this style of music but everything about it is marvellous no Vai soundiing generic backing (not a dig, I like some of his stuff but his backing music is quite generic and repetitive), it sounds well thought out and expertley played, I love the solo's with Wah on them alot. The acoustic guitar sound amazing aswell. I havent had a chance yet to give the whole CD a listen but its going on my MP3 player tonight so it can rock me awake on my way to work. So Hannah was crying last night I took her to the kitchen where I have a nice little JVC Hi-Fi, stuck your CD on and she shut right up, 5 more min and she was fast asleep on my shoulder. Splendid :) Have a big fat congratulations from me and Hannah :)

I too got my copy yesterday. I immediately popped it into my surround sound system and cranked it. needless to say I had every window in the house shaking. This cd is more then just your average instrumental album. Scott is more then just your average instrumentalist(is that a word?) anywho...most of the instrumental albums out there is just the artist showing off that they are better then everybody else, there is so much flash that the music suffers. Not on Fata Morgana. Scott's style is so smooth and refreshing. The riffs and melodies really set this album apart from others. From the driving whammy use on "Dissillusion" to the soft acoustic work on "Angel in Ice" and the great leads on "Pan Head Blues" really makes this album special. Scott is certainly an inspiration to guitarist and musicians. He set out to accomplish something and he put the hard work in and didnt give up until he was satisfied. Good work Scott, good work indeed

This blows out any samples he posted. The production is amazing and the mastering if fantastic! I nearly popped my speaker when I cranked it. Mind you, I like a lot of bass in the EQ, but the TDH is higher than the standard CD that you would buy at a music store, so you get better sound at high volumes. I got it signed by him and a note with the packaging.. Thanks Scott!.. If you havent ordered one yet, do it now! You won't be dissapointed

I just got my copy today! Let me just say, this is the must buy of the year imho! Take it for what it's worth, but this is SOLID and I'm only 3.5 songs in to it! I'm so stoked to kick back and just let it wash over my ears... so far it's just fantastic. Congrats Scott on a major milestone, I'm sure you're on cloud 9 right now with all of this!

Awesome CD! Very stimulating both technically and emotionally. Each track is a song in itself and therefore is able to keep the momentum fresh and alive. I could definately hear your influences (need I say more). You've certainly done it and I think it was worth every penny spent and every sweat & tear. Wonderful innovative graphics on the CD cover and on the subsequent pages. I can definately see that a lot of time, effort, and love went into this CD. Congrats ~ it's a Gem!

p.s. I love the intermingling of the electric and acoustic guitars!

Take care and thank again!

You are a truly talented musician. No lyrics are needed in order to enjoy this beautifully mastered cd. No matter the taste in music, anyone would enjoy putting on this cd to have a romantic dinner or cuddle up with a loved one. There are definatly songs that pick you up and get you through the day. "Angel in Ice" is one of my absolute favorites. It gets you from the first bar. It makes the mind work with images as well as the full feel of the song. Great work. I definately look forward to more down the road.

Well I can honestly say you blew me away. Surpassed any expectations I ever had. I have to admit "Angel in Ice" is my favorite. The bass is amazing, it all came together extremely well. And not just the sound, the appearance of the CD is awesome too. It all ties in together so well. Great job Scott, I have no doubt you will be very successful with this!

Scott your CD is awesome! I have been your friend for a long time and have heard the stages that you have gone through to make this CD. It has been a long battle for you. But it sure has paid off!!! I could listen to this in any mood I would be in. You have out done yourself and I am so VERY proud of you!!! You are very talented!! I can't choose a fave song I do love them all!! I am also very proud to be your friend, may this CD take you to places that you have only dreamed of!!! Best of luck to you in your amazing future. To all the people that have purchased this CD it is a treasure to be kept, and played many times over!!

Phenomenal! It was great to hear the songs in their finished form, for sure. I played it during poker on Monday night with 6 other people, and everyone seemed to really be digging it. Some of them even specifically commented on how good it was and how much they liked it (and they wouldn't just say that for the hell of it). And (besides one) these aren't musicians – so regular music fans were really digging it. I haven't listened thoroughly and frequently enough to really comment track-for-track or anything yet, but my goodness, it's really, really great. Then again, you already knew you kicked ass. :P

It's wonderful. I've been following your production stages from back at jamsession, and i must say how you incorporated the bass and the drums (one being that you took up the bass yourself to add the tracks, two being you went to outside sources to receive your drummer) is very well done. If i took a listen to the original tracks that I heard from your samples and compared them to the album that just arrived to me in the US today i would be flabergasted. Great work. COming from person more obsessed with blues, classic rock, and acoustics, this album combined some amazing acoustic work along with great electric riffs. It was an overall great album, of course sometimes the total number of things going on at once made my head hurt (i was blasting it on my computer stereo... not a good idea for those who read this). But nice job scott.

I give it 39999999 kudos!!!! Fuck yeah scott great album man!!!!!!!! Awsome licks and you keep it all tasteful.......I love your use of the digitech whammy( I think thats what I’m hearing at times).........For me the album highlights are 4.Fata morgana......10. Time for change....And 12. Liquid dream state (wicked fucking solo).....I respect you so much as a musican and as person........Your inner light shines through in your tunes!!!!!!!! The quality is great.......Great production, great tones, great songs, great playing all around the board!!!!!!! My only question when can a southern cali brotha like myself see the man live in action? Much love and respect.......Congrats on a killer album......I only expect to hear more from this kat in the future!!!!!!

I just got home from work when I saw your cd. I've had to wait until there was a spare minute to sit down and listen to the cd. You rock! I LOVE your distinct style and clever artistic touches. I'm amazed at the depth of your vision for the message of hope in this cd. True, no words,....You've only got to 'begin' to listen and then... you're hooked! Your MUSE is with you, both in music and inspiration. I feel the strums and chords in my veins as you play. The drums are kewll'-----', too. It's true that music is healing. May your wildest dreams come true! You deserve this and more,

Hello Scott yes I agree with everyone here this cd rocks. You can play with the best of them. 14 months to make this cd is well worth the weight. I'll tell everyone to buy your cd. Good luck in the future Scott.

Scott..Your new cd contains well written songs with melodic passages and I also hear bits of Steve Vai in your playing as well..Impressive! Good luck with the release bro...

Scott, I know I said I probably would have a hard time sitting down and listening to your album all the way through, but I was in a laid back mood and looking for inspiration and poped you CD in. Wow...its really great man, every track has a feel all its own and keeps me interested (as a music fan and a musician). I really enjoyed listening to it (but the shred nut that I am, I would of liked MORE ripping solos, but I think you did every right regardless). As far as favorite track goes, I couldn't say...I was in an almost euphoric state for most it, I didn't even take care to hear track and I just heard all the music (don't think I could have listened on different occasions, only all at once :) ). So no fav yet, but hopefully a 2nd or 3rd listen will help me pick a few out (although I love the last track, you think its gonna end and it plays for another 4 minutes with a completely different feel). The artwork and Cd case is all done beautifully and I really think you did a good job all around. Hope all is well and I'm looking foward to my replacement signed booklet ;). Take care, I'm gonna go shred now that you inspired me to do so |m/

Weeelllllll Scott!! I got my CD on Saturday and was able to listen to it some then but I have been listening literally all day!!!! It's beautiful here in Florida and I have been outside working in the yard. I put your CD on while I worked and was instantly transported into another place!! You have definitely outdone yourself my luv... (Angel in Ice still my fav though) Two of my neighbors popped over to ask who I was listening to.... YAY BABY!!!!!!!!!! You are brilliant and your talent is phenomenal... Excellent quality - your mixing and engineering abilities shine through... I really wish to best to you in all your future endeavors. Congrats!!

I am so in love with this cd!!! Its beautiful. Theres nothing I can add to what was said before by others. I am so glad your my friend and when your famous I want to be one of your hanger ons...lmao...

I listened to your Cd as soon as I received it and I loved it like I knew I would.

Scott Kroeker is one of a kind . I am happy and honored to have him as a friend.He is a very talented songwriter , musician. But not only that, he`s a very nice person that isnt at all affected by his great talent. I remember when Scott started writing this album In January of 2005. The songs came flowing from this guy like a giser. I sat in awe day after day as he churned out song after song. I believe he basically had the whole album written in a matter of weeks! I was amazed...not only because of how fast he wrote the music, but the quality of the songs. I had the distinct pleasure of Scott sharing many of the tracks with me as he was writing them, and freaking out at how polished and melodic they were from the start. The music on" Fata Morgana" is in my opinion some of the finest guitar instrumental music to have ever been released for mass consumption. As many of you know, Scott cannot only shred with other contemporary professional guitarists, but is capable of laying down some of the most heart felt , melodic lines this planet has ever been witness to. All in all. Fata Morgana is not only one of the best albums I have ever heard, but one of the most stellar production jobs I have ever heard. And to make it all the more incredible, he did this with minimal equipment all in a digital platform from a personal computer! I am still totally amazed by this man`s shear talent and tenacity. He heard what was in his head and heart, and captured it perfectly in music. Having cleared a path for his music with this cd. this Endless Road will lead to many , many great songs and albums to come. Drop in "Fata Morgana" and take an exhilerating ride through the mind of one of the finest writers and guitarists of our time, Scott Kroeker. Way to go brother!