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Downes Braide Association

Pictures of You

Review by Gary Hill

The “Downes” of this collaboration is Geoff Downes. He’s teamed up here with a singer/songwriter (who also wears a lot of other musical hats in various projects) named Christopher Braide. The result is an album that’s more or less progressive rock, but with a lot of pop built into it. Clearly a lot of it seems similar to Downes’ work in The Buggles, but there are other things here, too. While this might not please people who like really challenging progressive rock, those interested in the more electronic, melodic side, will enjoy this.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sunday News Suite

The first movement of this thirteen plus minute cut has a mellow, keyboards with pop vocals over the top mode. Then it powers out to something that’s more energized. Not surprising, it feels a lot like The Buggles. This is quite tasty and very cool. As this cut continues to change and evolve there are some wonderful moments. It feels a bit like Porcupine Tree at times. It’s always entertaining and intriguing, though. There are really some great melodies and movements built into this track and it’s quite a diverse number. It has more moments that seem close to The Buggles later.

The Radiant Children
With a more rocking motif, this is more like a 1980s euro rocker mixed with modern progressive rock. There’s a cool guitar solo on this later that’s got a real hard rock sound, but with the rest of the elements in place, the effect is more purely prog rock. The piece is bookended by a couple mellower segments.
The Superfortress

Now, this is a lot more like the electro-pop stylings of The Buggles. I like it a lot.

Pictures Of You

The title track feels like it’s somewhere between that Buggles pop sound and the more complex modern progressive rock vibe. It’s a good tune, but not one of the highlights. That said, there are some cool multi-layered segments in place.

Songs That Can Heal

The music that opens this really calls to mind the first Buggles album quite a bit. While it wanders a bit from that sound, feeling more straight rock like later, it still wouldn’t have been out of place on that disc.

Ride The Waves
This one also starts with a movement that feels lifted from that first Buggles set, but it quickly shifts to a dramatic motif that’s more in line with moody, and quite pretty, modern progressive rock.
Road To Run

Not a lot different, this one has a lot of energy and is one of the catchiest pieces here, anyway.

Live For The Moment

Mellow and very much in keeping with the modern prog meets electronic music vibe, this is tasty. There is a cool keyboard solo section at the end.

Sky Sailor

Starting with just piano, the vocals come in over that backdrop. There are some additional layers added to the sound at times, but overall that piano and vocal ballad style makes up the bulk of this piece.

               

 
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