Bob Oliver Lee: Flying Music
Not content with being a renowned guitarist in the French heavy metal scene through bands like Stonecast, Ninmah and Debackliner, or for his stab at power pop with Alix and Raff, Bob Saliba also has a solo project called, rather confusingly, Bob Oliver Lee. To his credit this second B-O-L album, Flying Music, is situated in a world far removed from the more effusive metal he's best known for. Instead a prog-folk rock vibe soars across Flying High, an easy acoustic base the starting point for much of what you'll find. Saliba also handles vocals, his pleasantly accented delivery adding to the soothing vibe the music provides as he unexpectedly reminds of a more rasping Michael Nesmith. Dig a little deeper however and what really catches your ear is Saliba's guitar craft, his ability to bring technical excursions on acoustic and restrained electric guitar without overpowering the atmosphere patiently built up, a real strength.
For a relatively sedate set of songs there's still plenty to get your teeth into, "Dead Heart" infusing a real sense of energy and tension through eerie backing vocals and pinpoint, almost Anthony Phillips like, guitar picking, while "Forbidden Ways" proves that Saliba can also provide genuine sing along moments in this folkish setting. "These Wings" shows a different side to Flying Music, piano and harmony vocals pushed to the front in a change of mood, and while in places this album can and does rock out, in the main, poise and poignancy are what make "Everything's Gone", "Rising" and "From The Pyramid Rises The Flying Spirit Of The Pharaoh" much more memorable than you might initially expect.
All that said, Flying Music is undoubtedly a slow burn, an album that requires time and patience to unravel before you. Give it that dedication and it will begin to return the compliment with some involving and keenly crafted sounds. It may not be an album for every occasion but if you're feeling reflective and laid back, then what Bob Oliver Lee provide may be the perfect companion.
1. Everything's gone
2. Dead Heart
3. Flying Music (Instrumental)
4. These Wings
5. Thoughts & Regrets
6. River of the Temple (Instrumental)
8. Forbidden Ways
9. Sailors from the Crying Planet
10. From the Pyramid Rises the Flying Spirit of the Pharaoh (Instrumental)
Added: October 30th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Bob Oliver Lee on Facebook
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