End of Page




Published on: 5 Jan 2007
Guy Manning has this healthy habit of treating us listeners with quality albums on a yearly basis. And we are getting accustomed to that (a dangerous custom, isn’t it Mr Manning? ;-))

After the more acoustic set One Small Step, Manning is back to the use of more electric standards, though this time he combines the different lines that One Small Step and its predecessor A Matter of Life and Death. In fact, Anser’s Tree seems to perfectly balance those two musical linings, and offer the best of the two worlds.

In his song writing and composition, this album maintains the richness, complexity, harmony and diversity that we have become accustom to through Manningls previous releases. Anser's Tree delivers folk mixed with candy-jazzier moments; containing progressive lines and symphonic textures, while the Flutes, Saxes, Violins, Mandolins (along with some vintage keyboards) make their appearance thereby transporting the music into fully enjoyable instrumental parts. The result is melodies that are so tasty that a candid smile is imposed on your face without asking for your conscious release.

While the idea of concept stories in progressive based albums is being overused, there are still great ideas to explore. Anser's Tree proves this very point. As usual, the lyrical side of the album is as rich and focused as the music is. The slightly Ian Andersonish tone of Mannings voice creates a perfect balance between the lyrical and the musical side of each previous album and this one is no exception.

With Anser's Tree we have another great example of the excellent song writing ability of Guy Manning and with it, yet another great album to have in your collection of modern progressive rock. I firmly believe, without any reservations, that we will be hearing some more great music from this "Guy" in the coming months/years.

A winner, Anser's Tree is also an album that can be played to your non-proghead friends as a great example on how music can be art and still be accessible for the “non-pretentious” listeners…