Probably best known for his role as vocalist with neo-progressive band “Pallas”, Glaswegian Alan Reed has, with this his second self-penned solo venture, created a beautifully assembled and wonderfully melodic album full of touching vocals and stimulating instrumental passages. Particularly interesting are the musical arrangements and the way they fold into a single unit and compliment the overall sound in totally unexpected ways. With most music it is possible to predict not only the route of the melody lines but also how the instrumental passages slot together, but here on every single track there are so many clever twists and turns as the various instrumental effects take off in all sorts of diverse and colourful directions. Totally fascinating are the various combinations of the various instruments as they swirl around in support of Alan’s most excellent relaxed vocal style. There is just so much going on at every junction of this music that it is totally impossible to assimilate it all together in one single go and it requires several plays to fully focus and appreciate the exquisiteness of the individual instruments and how they each combine to customize the overall sound. In addition there are some beautiful moments of harmonic female backing vocalization which are quite magical adding warmth and emotion to the proceedings. Instrumentally and probably more apparent than the lead guitar are the very busy “here there and everywhere” keyboards spreading glorious flurries of majestic chord sequences and strikingly complicated fills to enhance the music in every respect. As you would expect though, the lead guitar does play a major part in providing kudos and much interest to the overall structure for each of the songs but this requires just a little more concentration to appreciate the lovely individualistic contributions which are added so subtly. From a percussive perspective there is a huge amount of energy flow and dynamism injected into the various segments as the music drifts along providing a firm foundation and anchoring together all of the other individual instrumental components as a single unit. The lyrics portray many of the sad situations from everyday life associated with human relationships but quirkily these are set down within a framework of nice melodic ‘honey sweet tunes’, this I might add was a trick utilized by Becker and Fagen in many of their Steely Dan recordings. This is an all respects is an adorable album which I am just so pleased to include within my own private collection.
Summary: An extremely interesting album being both beautifully melodic with superb instrumentation but also having absorbing meaningful lyrics.
Artwork: An attractively styled CD Digi pack cover with exquisite artwork and containing an information packed booklet.
01. My Sunlit Room (4:08)
02. Razor (3:46)
03. Cross My Palm (5:47)
04. Leaving (4:30)
05. The Other Side of Morning (8:52)
06. The Covenanter (4:53)
07. Used To Be Someone (6:02)
08. Northern Light (4:06)
Alan Reed – Guitars, Bass, Bass Pedals, Drum Programming
Christina Booth – Vocals
Laetitia Chaudemanche – Vocals
Jeff Green – Guitar
Steve Hackett – Harmonica
Scott Higham – Drums
Claude Leonetti – Leode
Mike Stobbie – Keyboards
Monique Van Der Kolk – Vocals
On The Gig Front: Alan Reed and his newly assembled band ‘The Daughters of Expediency ‘will be supporting the Steve Hackett on his ‘Genesis Revisited UK Tour starting in October 2017. Note that Steve Hacket played harmonica on this album,
Alan says ‘Steve’s one of my all-time heroes, and it’s a tremendous honour to be asked to open for him. It’s a daunting prospect, but I’m really looking forward to it.’
All bands/artists and all moozik aficionados, if you have not joined Planet Of Prog on their fb page yet you might want to join them here too. They are unbiased, very honest sharing the music from the greats to the indie starting artists and what I love the most about them, there is no negativity (you'll not find any pompous selfrightous know it all full of know better and how sermons on their reviews) no matter who you are, all their reviews the bands are treated with utmost dignity even if the review is not most favorable, that review will be honest, not pompous and most in awe respectful of the artist's efforts. I love them, love this site. Join if you want to,I like them a lot!