Guy Manning is one of our most productive prog artists of all time. This is his tenth studio album since the debut in 1999, hence the title of the album which also the album-cover points to the Prime Minister Building Number 10 Downing Street. And that's not including his involvement in The Tangent.
Manning is also one of our best songwriters within the prog genre, and he writes with an astonishingly consistent quality. Yet he also has talent at making pop-songs. Although he has great abilities both as a producer and studio musician, it is the good melodies that are his real strength.
Number 10 seems a little more funk and RnB-inspired than I have previously heard from Manning - though such genre specifications are wrong in one way or another. His music contains a little of everything, and glide between rock, ballade, jazz and symphonic.
The songs have a bittersweet mood that is at least supported by Manning's own soft voice that goes right in the hearts of everyone.
This time I feel Manning is doing not enough out of the 10-20 minute long songs (which there are two of on the Number 10-album). 5-7 minute long songs is a format that suits him much better.
It's been a while ago I got to listen to a new Manning album in its entirety, but this it is perhaps the best! For in terms of productivity to this man it is perhaps a danger that I had ended up taking music for granted. And it deserves better than that.
- Trond Stre, Tarkus