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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Tony Banks

Still

Review by G. W. Hill

Featuring both progressive and pop leanings, this solo album from Genesis keysman Tony Banks is a strong effort. There are some wonderful moments here, and no real throw away tracks.

 Tony is joined on the album by Jayney Kilmek (Alphaville, Tangerine Dream), Daryl Struermer, Pino Palladino, Luis Jardim (Frankie Goes to Hollywood, ABC), Nik Kershaw, James Eller, Graham Broad, Vinnie Colaiuta (Frank Zappa, Allan Holdsworth), Martin Robertson, Andy Taylor (Duran Duran, Power Station) and Fish.

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

Track by Track Review
Red Day on Blue Street
Based on a techno/poppy sort of melody, this song features vocals by Nik Kershaw. Kershaw is best known for new wave/pop from the early MTV era ("Wouldn`t It Be Good"). He brings that new wave/pop feel to this project.
Angel Face
This number has a good Genesis/Marillion texture. Featuring the emotional and evokative vocal work of Fish, Angel Face is very strong. This song is about a lost love who was beautiful, but shallow. "I`ve got no memories just a photograph, I`ve got the best there is of you, You`re just a devil with a pretty angel face."
The Gift
Combining pop sensibilities with prog influences, this is an intriguing and catchy piece. Andy Taylor adds his vocal talents to the number. Although quite accessible, the cut does contain some seriously meaty segments.
Still It Takes Me By Surprise
Still It Takes Me By Surprise is another track featuring Andy Taylor. A pretty piano melody forms the main focus of the piece. Moments here capture the magic of classic Genesis. The parallel is based primarily on the emotional piano work.
Hero For an Hour
Featuring an interesting jumping arrangement and Beatlesesque textures at times, this is a fun, poppish sort of tune. Mr. Banks handles the vocal work on this number himself.
I Wanna Change the Score
Starting off in a Genesis sort of mode, the piece drops into an `80`s pop format. The cut is very strong for that genre, and the Genesis styled elements make a return in the form of an instrumental break. Nik Kershaw makes another appearance on this track.
Water Out of Wine
This is a pretty and sad song, that is quite sedate and beautiful. The vocal chores here are handled by Jayney Kilmek.
Another Murder of A Day
A wonderful prog piece, this is the strongest track on the album. Combining the best of Marillion with some classic Genesis sounds, this is a superbly moody composition that contains many progressive rock stylings and changes. The track contains a break which is old Genesis at it its best. Fish`s vocals are powerfully emotional, as always. A rollercoaster ride, this one alone is well worth the ticket price. At just over nine minutes, the term "epic" fits this cut rather well.
Back to Back
A strong rocker, Back to Back really has a Pat Benatar sort of feel. This is quite a fun cut that features very proficient vocal work by Jayney Kilmek.
The Final Curtain
It is fitting that Nik Kershaw closes out the vocal work on this album, since he also began it. This is a pretty ballad that serves to bring the album to a more mellow, but satisfying conclusion. The track actually feels just a bit like Alan Parsons Project.
 
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