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Manning: The View From My Window

This is full-blooded progressive rock and there's something for everyone on this album. You'll find more than a hint of Genesis-bred song-oriented neo-prog, but there are also huge passages of complex, multi-textured and multi-layered symphonic prog. Spin this CD and on the very first track you'll hear an interesting passage with a lead guitar and a saxophone trading solos and you know this is going to be an interesting ride that will take more than one spin to fully appreciate.

Guy Manning featured on Parallel Or Ninety Degrees and on The Tangent's The Music That Died Alone, which has received favorable reviews across the prog spectrum. He has also released several albums under his own name sometimes as "Guy Manning", sometimes just "Manning". The View From My Window is his most heavily-orchestrated album to date and has fewer pop or even neo elements than previous albums. It comprises five 6- to 9-minute songs, and a wonderful 20+ minute epic that you will want to play again and again.

The vocals have a rich mid-ranged timbre in the Ian Anderson mould, and sound good on "Suite : Dreams" and "After (The Tears In) The Rain". But the instrumentation is the attraction to this album. It is keyboard oriented, including classic mellotron, synth and hammond sounds. Besides the standard guitars, bass and drums, Manning also builds complex textures with a good variety of instruments including sax, fiddle, mandolin, recorder and richly sampled keys. This is a mature sound this is prog for grown-ups.

The first 5 songs are good, but you could justify the purchase of this album on the merits of the 6th track alone. The epic "Suite : Dreams" starts with just piano and vocals, then it meanders through jazz, classical, fusion and symphonic progressive soundscapes in a fascinating, tightly composed piece that will sweep you away for the full 20 minutes.

We hope he has the right marketing mechanism in place to bring this album to the attention of the thousands of discerning listeners who will appreciate its quality. If so, the view from Guy Manning's window ought to be rosy indeed.

Added: January 8th 2004
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: Guy Manning's Web Site
Hits: 7823
Language: english

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