Monday, March 23, 2009

Playlist ~ 23rd March 2009

Satellite ~ Nostalgia
Fourth album from one of Poland’s finest. Maybe working within the more neo-prog arena, the contemporary production makes this a class above most other releases in this genre. The songwriting is strong and memorable, highly melodic. This is really drummers Wojtek Szadkowski’s project and his work here is highly impressive. This is infectious stuff!

Agents Of Mercy ~ The Fading Ghosts of Twilight
That man Stolt is back with another new project which he fits in between those epic Flower King masterworks. The album is centred around Unifaun’s Nad Sylvan who has one of those voices you love or hate. It is very much in the theatrical Fish/Gabriel vein and works here very well. This album is much stronger than I expected and is one for those liking mid-period Genesis, but actually offers a whole lot more.

King Crimson ~ Lizard
With the news that Steven Wilson’s surround mixes of Crimson’s back catalogue is nearing fruition, starting with the release of “Lizard” and “Red”, I took the opportunity to give the last remastering release a spin. I have always considered “Lizard” to be very unfairly maligned, even by Fripp himself. Even now the odd jazz arrangements make this the one of the most distinctive albums in the Crimson canon. In particular the trio of songs which start the album are some of the best stuff that Fripp and Sinfield penned together. This is skewed, surrealist fantasy songwriting like no other. I don’t think an album cover has so perfectly represented the music therein as has Gini Barris’s strikingly ornate artwork for “Lizard”.

Steven Wilson ~ Insurgentes
The retail release for Steven Wilson (yes, him again) after last years limited edition deluxe hardback edition shows the album to be even better second time round. I have to say the attention to detail in the arrangements and production is exquisite. This is the perfect culmination of what Wilson has been striving for within Porcupine Tree, No-Man and Blackfield. The man’s unstoppable!

Wetton & Downes ~ Icon 3
The songwriting team of John Wetton and Geoff Downes are on a bit of a high at the moment as evidenced by last years return to form for Asia with “Phoenix”. This third instalment in the Icon trilogy of albums is as strong as the others. This is melodic rock at its very best. Wetton is in wonderful voice and it’s so good to see him coming away from his period of health problems with such a positive and strong statement as this album is.


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