***** (5 stars)
Top notch latest album from Guy Manning and crew, April 7, 2004
Reviewer: DR D B SILLARS from Luton, Bedfordshire United Kingdom
The latest album from Guy Manning and friends. Manning was involved in the recent The Tangent project with cohort Andy Tillison, but he shows here what a strong composer and all round musician he is in his own right.
On this he tackles keyboards, guitars and drums. Though this is not purely a solo project. The contributions from the other players is important, particularly that of sax player Laura Fowles. Manning has such a distinctive vocal and writing style. There is a very strong English ballad
tradition feel to the music. Not folk, but a lush, wistful quality to the
style of the songs. There are lots of great keyboard work throughout.
Beautiful mellotron strings and synth solos abound. But there is nothing
indulgent here, the arrangements are very tight and everything proceeds at a nice pace. The title track is joyous, very catchy with great ensemble
playing throughout. The epic final track, Suite: Dreams (ahem!) works well over it's 20 minutes and never outstays it's welcome. This is
very melodic, but involved progressive rock.
The songwriting, vocals and playing are top notch throughout. Manning really deserve to be heard and this release is highly recommended. Looking forward to the next one.