German band Frequency Drift creates atmospheric, melodic and yet challenging music which they call Cinematic Progressive Rock. Published on The Musea Parallele label, "Personal Effect - Part One" (2008) is a concept-album set in a dystopian future. It focuses on the two main characters, and each has its own musical theme. The album is mainly influenced by movies or television series like "Ghost In The Shell", "Blade Runner" or "Cloverfield". Musically, it can be compared with the likes of Marillion's "Brave" or Sylvan's "Posthumous Silence", if these two bands had a female singer. The story is told through the songs, though not in a chronological order. The booklet contains a storyboard-like picture for each song that will help the listener understand the story.
Nat "King" Cole's piano trio has been an inspiration for many of today's young lions: from Diana Krall to this talented vocalist-guitarist, John Pizzarelli. Taking his cue from the fleet-fingered dexterity of Cole's guitar ace Oscar Moore, Pizzarelli combines economical licks with wispy, Chet Baker-like vocalism's on this candlelight tribute consisting of Cole-associated songs, accompanied by bassist brother Martin Pizzarelli and pianist Ray Kennedy. The tunes are sung and swung with reverence and rhythm: the easygoing "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," the furious, foot-stomping standard "Indiana," the plaintive ballad "I Love You for Sentimental Reasons," and the devilish and demure, "Don't Let It Go to Your Head." With the toe-tapping original composition "That's Nat," cowritten by Pizzarelli and Kennedy, Nat King Cole's intimate ballads and pre-bebop instrumentals are brought to a new generation with the leader's own tender and terrific talents.
Japanese original release. Special box set release from The Doors contains 28 tracks total, including 17 ones available as CD format for the first time. EP covers faithfully replicate the ones released from Victor from 1967 to 1972.
Another TD soundtrack that saw the daylight years after its recording was Deadly Care, music for a TV movie that was composed and recorded back in 1987 by Edgar Froese and Chris Franke but not released until 1992. The CD contains all of the music as supplied by TD to Universal Television. "Deadly Care" is a haunting, detached and at times a melancholic soundtrack. It's dark soundscapes are apropos and the quality of the musical performances are very refined. Edgar Froese and friends entice listeners with an ominously profound, gloomy but high quality CD, namely, Deadly Care.
Mike Oldfield was back into the extended composition game with Five Miles Out, continuing the "Taurus" series with the mammoth "Taurus II," an entertaining enough romp with references to Irish music, brass bands and Oldfield's beloved Morris. The true standout, though, was the title track, a paean to flying in bad weather that could easily double for Oldfield's feelings about the sort of monumental critical drubbing he was accustomed to receiving. "Family Man" became a huge worldwide hit for Hall & Oates.
Following a long-established production pattern, Mike Oldfield assembled some relatively simple pop- and rock-flavored numbers following one long introductory piece on his 1983 Disky release, Crisis. The 20-minute opening title-track is a quintessential Oldfield texture study that consists of sparkling synth washes with edgier material weaving in and out. A fine setup, this track cleanses the aural pallet, preparing the listener nicely for the tunes that follow. Yes fans who can adjust to the sugary highlight "In High Places" will enjoy Jon Anderson's springy vocal work on the track. The energetic guitar romp "Taurus 3" will also appeal to most prog and art rock fans. Those in search of more ethereal Oldfield material should be aware of this record's pop leanings, but open-minded listeners will have a good time exploring Crisis, one of Oldfield's better releases of this type.
With 1984's Discovery, Mike Oldfield seems to be back on track, utilizing the vocal power of Maggie Reilly and the drum playing of Simon Phillips to create some rather appealing selections. "The Lake" is a simply gorgeous instrumental inspired by Switzerland's Lake Geneva, the location in which the album was recorded, while "To France" is a powerful pop/rock tune based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. Both Reilly and Barry Palmer share the vocal duties throughout the tracks, signifying Oldfield's subtle emergence into a more pop-infused atmosphere. "Tricks of the Light" is a wonderful instrumental that relies on the keyboard to give it energy, while even so-so efforts like the title track and "Poison Arrows" come off as upbeat and inspired. Discovery peaked at number 15 in the U.K., and even though it didn't garner much attention elsewhere, it serves as one of Mike Oldfield's most entertaining releases from the decade.
Incantations is the fourth record album by Mike Oldfield, released in late 1978 on Virgin Records. After a two-year pause following Boxed, Mike Oldfield released a new epic project, this one spread over four vinyl sides and devoted to Native American themes rather than hewing once more toward the Celtic end of the spectrum. Included was Oldfield's musical adaptation of "The Song of Hiawatha," which had a nice sense of the dramatic when it came to dynamic range. After this, Oldfield would not return to album-length concepts for quite some time.
Compared to the previous Amarok, Heaven's Open is far less experimental and clearly more conventional. But this is not necessarily a bad thing though! This album has the same structure as albums like Five Miles Out, Crisis and Islands in that half of the album consists of shorter songs while the other half is one longer piece.
Earth Moving was one of the last installments in Mike Oldfield's series of pop experiments, and the record does sound as if the musician was running out of patience with the genre. Many listeners have written off this period, but there were interesting moments that passionate fans still appreciate. Oldfield commits completely to the pop/rock format on Earth Moving by excluding the kind of long intro piece that he often used to kick off other '80s recordings. Instead, the composer puts a sprawling but focused (by Oldfield standards) eight-minute number, "Nothing But/Bridge to Paradise," at the end of this 1989 release…