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David Cross

Crossing the Tracks

Review by Gary Hill

David Cross is probably best known for his work with King Crimson. He's done a lot more than that, though. This new album features alternating instrumentals and vocal tunes (except at the end where we get two vocal songs in a row). The singing is provided by several different vocalists. This lands musically somewhere between psychedelia, prog rock world music and symphonic. Overall, though, it's very artistic stuff.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
White Bird (feat. Sonja Karaushofer)
This classic It's a Beautiful Day song gets a cool retelling here. The vocals work very well. The arrangement seems to exude the psychedelia you would expect with some classical music and more built into it. This is a powerful piece, and a great way to start the album. It begins flowery and really soars as it works forward.
Kalahari Fantasy
World music, classical, psychedelia, space and progressive rock all merge on this number. It's a cool instrumental that has a lot of shifts and turns. I love the twist into pure space trippyness. This is another effective number. The closing segment in particular is cool with its blending of symphonic and space rock.
For What It's Worth (feat. Anna-Marie Hurst)
The old Buffalo Springfield hit gets a retelling here. They bring a lot of psychedelia to the table on this one, too. It's a rocker, but also has plenty of symphonic and other elements added to the mix.
Prince of Darkness
There is a weird, unsettled vibe to this cut. It merges symphonic sounds with psychedelia in some intriguing ways. It gets more melodic in its rocking stylings as it moves forward, but still has that sense of danger in the mix throughout. This is odd, but in a tasteful way that's befitting the title.
Love Me (feat. Ofra Haza)
An energetic electronic rock vibe is at the core of this cut. The vocals at the start are less mainstream than some of the others we've heard here. The cut works out to more rock based stuff after the first vocal section and those vocals rise up to meet it. A driving prog rocking tune, this is cool stuff. This gets quite classical in terms of the overlayers of sound further down the musical road. At times this feels like something Kate Bush might do.
Into the Oblique
Dramatic and rather Gothic in texture, this makes me think of Nox Arcana in a lot of ways. It's a cool instrumental with rock and symphonic elements merging into tasteful weirdness.
The Light Inside Me (feat. Kimberly Freeman)
There is a lot of world music in this number. It's a cool rocker at its heart, though. At times this makes me think of Blackmore's Night.
Shifting Sands
This instrumental piece seems to flow out of the previous number. It has more of a pure rock vibe, but informed by both world music and classical sounds. It's a classy number that works very well.
Hero of Kingdom (feat. Marion K├╝chenmeister)
There are a lot of middle Eastern elements at play on this cut. It's a killer number with symphonic elements, those world music textures and some prog rock all working together.
Hallelujah
I dig the electric violin sounds on this instrumental number a lot. It's a powerful piece that lands fully in the progressive rock vein. That said, there are definitely symphonic and world music elements here, too.
The Key (feat. Ofra Haza)
I love the electronic prog meets world music vibe of this number. The vocals work really well on this thing.
Shadows Do Know (feat. Eva O)
The world music elements really drive the opening section of this. The vocals make me think of Marianne Faithfull. This cut gets more driving and rocking as it works forward.
 
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