Guy Manning is productive and innovative. His previous release - The Cure - was
a finer and more progressive record than his debut.
So where does he go this time, with Cascade?
Quality-wise right to the top! Some may never tire of the possibly greatest decade in rock, the 70s. Here is Roxy Music mixed with Van Der Graaf Generator, Yes mixed with Genesis, Bo Hansson mixed with Jethro Tull and The Chieftains mixed with Pink Floyd. In other words, old, but new.
It is difficult to pinpoint the music to a genre. Here is both progressive rock with saxophone in focus, as well as tracks which combine funky pop and driving rock. There is also room for quiet guitar songs, often with lovely organ tones in the background.
Manning is joined by ex-Parallel or 90 Degrees' guitarist Gareth Harwood and Angela Goldthorpe from Mostly Autumn on flute. This is spiced with catchy Moog-themes and sophisticated multi-tracked vocals. Everything is delicately performed. The detailed and thoughtful arrangements and atmospheres frequently grab you. What, in addition to Manning's down-to-earth and intimate vocals, makes this album exciting and different is his interesting sense of instrumentation. The arrangements are often almost a musical cultural crash, but still everything sounds tasteful and quite natural. Soulful, elegant and creative, Top quality in sound, rich and clean.
The music is both easily accessible and melodic, at the same time it is experimental and exciting. The atmosphere is somewhat melancholic with a few light, high-spirited tracks. Even with fine dynamics and quite a few mighty theme parts, the music does not stand out as pompous or heavy. There is always room for more. An album which constantly grows for each new spin in my CD player.