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Cobalt 2 - New Age State of Mind
By Ben Ohmart
(more articles from this author)
2005-05-06
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Laura Lee and Bill Boardman come from different musical backgrounds. She pursued drama and music at the University of Miami, while Bill teaches piano andhas been in pop bands since the age of nine. The combination that is Cobalt 2 leaves nothing to be desired in the realm of engaging relaxation music, built on the structure of pop music (think before girl groups), back when easy-on-the-ear tunes were not options. All dressed up in a coating destined to put evil on hold and smiles showing All teeth.

The titles of the tracks alone tell the positive nature of their newest recording, "Imagine That". "Biography" begins with a simple tapping rhythm, as if Michael Myers has finally learned his lesson and the Halloween theme can move to major chords. The simple orchestration of all man-made sounds lets in a sunlight that easily envelopes the CD's entire hour. There is a twinkle spreading over the piano solo (the main instrument here, and on other tracks) that seems to be the Golden Hour of the "Biography" - the time when a white-haired man looks back on his life's story and regrets yet wishes nothing to have changed.

For "The Dance" we are invited to more underling bass, less like a true dance and more like the positive picture of a dance at a wedding, with granddaughter dancing on granddad's feet. While the pensive tranquility of "Heart's Passion" is a hand holder; a gorgeous tune with enough of a smooth beat to keep it upbeat and out of crying's path. Again, the electronica/romantic arrangement walks an elegant tight rope between stylish and moody.

For the pure piano lovers among you, "My Celebration" will feed the need without going completely John Tesh. There is still a need to feel pop and mix the natural ivory sound with the vibrancy of electronics, without resorting to their purely novelty side. The two worlds blend gratefully; and on this particular tune, think of the theme to Laws of Attraction (film with Julianne Moore), without the New York element.

"Reason to Dream" gives a lone country feel to city life once the bass line shows, the way a dance track would shake without too much rhythm to spoil it.

On their site and in the CD booklet is the message of what you're hearing: "Imagine that we all come together, that we all help each other. Imagine that. Wouldn't the world be a better place? Enjoy the Music, it is all that I am. It comes from my heart. Every song tells a different story." And like the best storytellers of a generation, these do; without the clutter of words.

The name of the band came as romantically as the music seems to. Says Laura: "The band name was actually determined because we would write our music looking out of a window. Outside is a lake, and when the sun would set, it would be cobalt blue. Cobalt blue. Cobalt 2. Two meaning that there are two of us. That is actually how we named ourselves, looking at the night sky."

So where and how did composers collide? "Bill and I met at a music store. I was actually a drummer. However, I have been writing melodies on the piano all of my life. I've written several songs that were played by the conductor of the north Miami symphony, and had a concert. Bill was my piano teacher. As time went on we just decided to create the music. So the story goes. He would arrange my melodies and co-write.

"Yes, I do have a theatre background and yes, Bill is a music teacher. I would consider our music New Age, but if you listen to it... it really has a lot more emotion. I believe the music is more intense and is more complicated than new age. It has a classical feeling also. The songs tell a story. I wrote a song for my daughter. That is 'Ashley's Song.' And we wrote a song for Bill's unborn son."

Bill Boardman has gigged, but Cobalt 2 hasn't performed recently, so the CD is the only place to catch them. They are planning on going on stage with a Yanni-type orchestra or violins, but as Laura explains, "It is not really gig music. If you listen to the music, it has the feeling of a movie theme."

Imagine That is their second CD. How does it differ from their first, Reason to Dream? "It is really just a matter of personal taste. They are both beautiful. I have had a very good response to both. They have been selling in basket stores, new age stores, coffee shops, bookstores. I have had excellent feedback. We are looking to expanding our presence in the industry. To everywhere we can.

"Our goal is to get an actual movie theme. I am currently writing for the next CD. It will be called The Answer. Music is my Heart and Soul. I hope that we can have it preformed by a symphony... radio... TV. Any exposure will be wonderful. As far as the future we continue to write... and write."


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