What does the songwriting of a Muslim living in democracy sound like?
You weren’t expecting that kind of opening were you? I’ve known about the man behind the music act The Metronomad for a few years. His songwriting hits both an honest and thought-provoking chord with his debut EP titled Opening Doors.
Diving into the songs to get the full experience
You can tell from the cover of the album that mysticism and fairy tale blend into the notions of life, love, hope and clarity. These are themes prevalent in the entirety of the album.
Lyricism that dives into descriptive tales of creation, love, and honesty are just a few of the highlights of this indie singer-songwriter. Ownership helps kick off the album with inventive phrases that ask a question perfect for religious discussion or philosophical debate. The title track, Opening Doors, adds a new layer to the moving composition with a fluid combination of violin and snare drum rolls that brings a familiar sound made famous by The Goo Goo Dolls and Counting Crows. Somewhere transcends the mold of a traditional love song to come off more like an entry in a journal of longing for someone very special, with a bit of an island flavor in the melody.
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However, it’s a song that’s placed towards the end of the album that captures the essence of the Metronomad, and creates and introspective opening of the doors of attitudes, perspectives, and biases. Dear Listener should have been the opening track, however I understand why it wasn’t. If after listening to a songwriter share his heart of love and hope, we can remove the predominate biases of our attitude towards some religions whom the mainstream media (and some political entities) have deemed as “evil.” These songs about hope and love strengthen our ideology that musicians must be like us to have these feelings. And yes they are. But our ideologies have to be open to see the truth.
Breaking down the highlight of Opening Doors
In Dear Listener we get the real Metronomad, aka Mustapha, the Muslim songwriter who gives his honest and candid response to a musical and ideological culture that doesn’t understand him or his religion. In potentially the strongest song on the album, he wisely and cleverly points out how our biases as people (speaking on behalf of most folks in America) can hinder our ability to truly see and understand the communities of the world, both locally, regionally, and internationally.
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“No I don’t believe what ISIS believes. Osama was Islam’s biggest enemy. Muslims are these groups largest casualties. And you’re trying to tell ME what terrorism means?”
There’s a commonality to the songs and ideas presented by The Metronomad on Opening Doors that reminds me a lot of the early work of one of my favorite songwriters, Trevor Hall. Trevor’s eastern mysticism blended with Christianity and Buddhism confuses a lot of religious people but draws in the open minded music lover into a conversation about what’s really good, and what’s really love. The Metronomad achieves that end in this provocative debut.