“I feel no limits,” sings Bruce Hornsby near the end of his latest album. As if we didn’t already know. Following in the footsteps of his artistically adventurous 2019 release Absolute Zero, Non-Secure Connection finds the versatile singer-pianist once again refusing to play it safe. Relentlessly pushing his music in new sonic and stylistic directions, he expands his ringing keyboard lines and warm vocals with everything from multi-tracked harmony vocals and neo-classical strings to squelchy synthesizers and prog-rock passages — along with arch lyrics about rat kings, online porn and societal insanity. And in the process, he secures his status as one of the most creatively restless and curious artists of his generation. The sky’s the limit.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Bruce Hornsby’s forthcoming album, Non-Secure Connection, follows the release of 2019’s acclaimed album, Absolute Zero. Hornsby’s music changed when he started having the genesis of his songs be from film music. Through composing for writer and director Spike Lee, Hornsby would often feel that the certain atmospheric quality of a “cue” he’d written should be developed into a song. About this unique approach, Hornsby notes, “It takes my music to a place that I like that sets it apart from other things I’ve done. I’m often looking to make a sound that I haven’t heard before and find a place in what I guess is the context of popular song for some new information.” Hornsby’s continued growth as a musician enables him to build upon and explore new musical techniques. On Non-Secure Connection, he’s created something different that touches on a broad range of themes, from civil rights to computer hackers, mall salesmen and the Darwinian aspects of AAU basketball. “The new album’s chromaticism and dissonance quotient is exactly twice as high (three songs featuring that language compared to one and a half on the last record),” says Hornsby. “I feel like my music has never been a part of any trend that defined any era of music during my 34 years of doing this. I may be wrong, but that’s how it feels to me.”