The opening track, "Lost Silence", is based on an ostinato in shifting, odd meters. It’s a challenging, interesting figure, but cannot sustain interest for over 8 minutes. Much of the music on Monsoon is hurt by the same effect. The melodic theme of the piece enters about halfway through and is a very short statement. Dubois has a knack for writing catchy, fragmentary melodic excerpts. But they sound that way - like excerpts. Many of these tunes would be well served if more work was put into the themes/melodies. You can tell from listening that Dubois very well may have the ability to write longer more thoroughly thought out ideas, but chooses to leave them shorter. The fragments we get are interesting, but by leaving them so short, and with nothing else to hang onto but the repeating ostinatos and pedals, he’s shooting himself in the foot.
Much of Dubois’ playing follows suit. His playing comes in spurts. Instead of following an idea to a logical conclusion (and he’s got lots of ideas), he starts and stops. Occasionally his ideas are interesting enough to be satisfying on their own, but often it’s frustrating to hear him leave something behind that could’ve gone to an interesting place. This may be an intentional style, but it feels like growing pains.
It sounds like Dubois is trying very hard to not sound like any other guitarists - and he’s doing well on that score. There are moments here and there where I catch a moment of Ralph Towner’s influence or maybe even an early Coryell. Letting these influences into the fray a little more may be a good thing for Dubois as there is no other way to full incorporate them. However, in terms of both playing and writing, Dubois is a promising artist. I’ll be watching him grow.