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Lifesigns: Lifesigns

Lifesigns, is a new British progressive rock group releasing their debut album in 2013. They bill themselves as "a new style of prog for 2013". "A new light in the progressive firmament".

The band consists of John Young, (Bonnie Tyler/Scorpions/Fish), on keyboards and lead vocals; Nick Beggs, (Steve Hackett/Kajagoogoo/Iona/Steve Wilson), on bass, stick, and backing vocals; Martin 'Frosty' Beedle, (Cutting Crew/Sinead O'Connor/Clannad), on drums and percussion; and Steve Rispin, engineer and producer.

The band also utilizes the talents of a number of superstars to complete the music. Guest performers include: Steve Hackett, Robin Boult, and Jakko Jaszyk on lead and acoustic guitar; and Thijs van Leer, on flutes.

'Lighthouse' opens the album full of some excellent keyboards and guitar, with soft drums keeping pace. Later, as the track evolves John Young's vocals and the rhythm of the track sounds more and more like a Buggles/Yes 'Drama' track. The only thing that discounts that comparison is the spacey, far out, extraordinary keyboards and blistering lead guitar solos. The ocean and seagull sound effects are wonderful. Off to a good start.

On 'Telephone', Young's vocals and the music begin to sound more and more like Mike Rutherford's famous 'Mike and the Mechanics'. Yes, Young does sound a lot like Paul Young at times. This track in particular reminds me of the Mechanics' 'Somewhere Along the Line'. Wonderful percussion, soft keys, bass, soft drums, and electric guitar, all set to a jazzy 90s beat.

'Fridge Full of Stars' is one of the longest tracks on the album. It is full of deep bass at the opening, with soft piano and keys drifting over the dreamy soundscape. The acoustic and electric lead guitar sounds like is it signed by Steve Hackett. Some of those echo vocals even sound like some of Steve's solo albums. There are plenty of 'Collins Era' Genesis themes intertwined in the melody. Leer's flute though is definitely the album highlight…so far. Then…what sounds like that signature Hackett soaring guitar solo. Then…back to a flute solo that even Ian Anderson would be proud of. Returning to Tony Banks – like keyboards bringing back more memories from the live 'Collins Era' of Genesis…off 'Seconds Out'.

On 'At the End of the World', Young's vocals almost mirror Paul Young. This track would have fit well on 'The Living Years'. Wonderful piano, keys, soft drums, and electric guitar.

'Carousel' is the closer and longest track on the album. Keys open the track and then what sounds like a Steve Hackett explosion of guitar, maybe the sequel to 'Hackett to Pieces', ensues. I am sure there are some Side 2 - 'Lamb' guitar bits buried in that explosion somewhere. Young's vocals and that bass/stick work well together to bring back memories of M&M and late 70s/early 80s Genesis . Leer's flute returns and the interplay between him and the keyboards is worth the price of admission. Young's Banks – like keyboard progressions are also well worth the price. The piano is grand and decorates the soundscape elaborately.

"New style of prog for 2013"? Not sure about that. Sounds more to me like a return to the pop of the 1990s or early 80s. Which is definitely not a bad thing. M & M were one of my favorite bands of that era. Who could forget 'The Living Years', 'All I Need is a Miracle', or 'A Call to Arms'? Some of my all-time fav Rutherford productions. But I think they just released an album, 'The Road' in 2011.

All the tracks on this album are full productions of over 8 minutes. But for me it doesn't sound new. It sounds like a great mix between Mike and the Mechanics and some great Collins Era Genesis mixes…which...again… is not at all a bad thing.

Track Listing:

1. Lighthouse
2. Telephone
3. Fridge Full of Stars
4. At the End of the World
5. Carousel

Added: April 21st 2013
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link:
Hits: 2741
Language: english

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