Starting from first impressions, (always a good place to start!) the artwork
is superb my personal favourite since Tall Stories, which like the new cover compliments the title of the album.
The Dream, complete with gently lapping waves, the soothing sound of the sea soon gives way to a distinctive 'Manning' rhythm, distinctive vocals cut through as the song builds. A reflective, slower passage with an almost mournful, achingly beautiful sax, gives way, the pace building again with the help of an effective keyboard passage.
Now I could go on like this about each track, all of the songs are just,
Manning, loads of subtle time and rhythm changes, outstanding vocals
throughout, carefully thought out, haunting, driving, foot tapping and
reflective, all in one album, some times in the same song! Amazing stuff.
'Nobody's Fool' is just beautiful, an emotion filled sonic picture. Omens, haunting almost threatening but that old Manning magic of melody is always there. River of Time, ghostly backing vocals put an interesting slant on the structure of this passage of the story.
'Silent Man' shows a 'folky' side, with superb fiddle. 'Falling Down,
Rising Up' takes you on a roller coaster of emotion. 'Life's Disguises' is
my personal favourite, a tune stunningly beautiful in its simplicity,
fabulous. The first time I heard this track, in its early demo form, it
struck a chord. 'Out of My Life' is dramatic yet subtle, what more can I
'Midnight Sail' is a superb, uplifting, dance along tune, crying out to be
played before a packed auditorium at the end of a set, as Guy once said,
"Thank you Wembley and goodnight!" It is that kind of a tune.
A superb album, each song has something slightly different, each song has that special ingredient that makes a Manning album special. The epic twenty minute track may not have been used on this occasion but you try and play just one track from the album, I bet you'll find it difficult, it just flows along, pulling you with it, not one 'epic track' just and epic album.
Fantastic Guy, just fantastic.