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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Tony Banks

A Curious Feeling

Review by Gary Hill

I like this new Tony Banks solo album reissue. For one thing, it’s just a great album. It’s one of the more Genesis-like discs from his solo career. Secondly, this is a classy release of it. It has both the standard CD, mastered to sound great and a DVD. The DVD includes the album in surround sound and some promotional films. If you’ve never owned this, pick it up. If you already have a standard version, it’s still well worth getting this one.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
From the Undertow

Piano handles the bulk of the opening here. The cut works through with other elements in play after a while. It’s quite classical in nature, but still has plenty of rock in the mix. As you might guess from the title, this contains melodies from the Genesis song “Undertow.” That’s a beautiful song, and so is this instrumental.

Lucky Me
This is somewhat folk rock and feels a lot like Genesis. That’s to be expected, though. The vocals make it different. They are strong, they are just not Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins. I like this song a lot.
The Lie
I absolutely love the beautiful lines of melody that open this piece. It drives out into a pop rock piece that actually makes me think of Elton John a bit. Sure, there are definitely Genesis elements at play, too, but I hear EJ in some of the hooks and vocals. When it intensifies for a jam later in the piece, it does comes more fully into Genesis territory. A mellow piano movement segues this into the next cut.
After the Lie
Coming up from the end of the last number, this has a great melodic ballad style. It’s again quite Genesis like. Of course, that’s logical. I love the way this song builds and develops. It’s such a powerful track. The composition is fairly complex. It’s also very compelling and powerful. I love the synthesizer soloing in closing section, too.
A Curious Feeling
More of a mainstream rocker, this is a song about a healthy skepticism towards those who claim to have all the answers. The keyboard fills later bring a real Genesis vibe to the table.
Forever Morning
I absolutely love this instrumental. It has some elements that are instantly recognizable as Genesis styled. There so many beautiful melodies and textures built into this. It’s quite classical in nature, but also a rock piece.
You
Starting like a ballad, this grows out towards a mainstream pop rock song. The instrumental segment that takes it later, though, brings it fully into Genesis-like territory.
Somebody Else's Dream
Mainstream rock meets Genesis like prog on this. To me, sometimes the vocals on this song feel like Ray Wilson. That makes it feel a bit like something from Calling All Stations.
The Waters of Lethe
This instrumental is so beautiful and potent. It’s definitely one with a lot of Genesis sound built into it.
For a While
A cool mainstream rocker, this is a lot of fun. It’s a classy, if not overly proggy, cut.
In the Dark
A keyboard based song, this is mellower. It’s a nice way to end things in sort of a grounded manner.
 
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