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Carter, Colin: ONE

Best known as the lead vocalist for prog icons Flash, featuring guitar legend Peter Banks of Yes, Colin Carter has, decades down the line, decided to release his solo debut outing. Inspired by a move from the big cities to the coastal range of Oregon, 15 miles from the Pacific, where the maritime climate, cliffs and coastline reminded him of the Cornish coast in the UK, Carter set about writing and recording music for his own pleasure. Eventually, with material building up, the singer, who also handles most of the guitar, bass, synths, drums and percussion, decided it was time to release his new tunes and ONE was born. Occasionally augmented by Clint Bahr on bass, mandolin and synth, Doro Reeves on piano, organ and accordion and Mike Hough, Tom Beckstrom and Michael Cardell on drums, Carter has created a gentle, eclectic, wide ranging collection of rock that feels intentionally out of its time.

With his vocal style easy and unforced, that much of the music also falls into a similar mode can leave things a little reserved in places, the drama of “Highway Oblivion” smoothed and unthreatening, while “Cafe Elektric” turns into questionable nightclub swing. When things are infused with a little impetus, “Underground” can cause the blood to pump, the guitars showing a little more purpose as the drums try their best to power along. But, with much of the approach elsewhere pensive and relying on Carter’s expressive, if not always engaging vocals, “Munich Song” becomes something of a trial as its pace seems to slow with almost every beat. Although it’s a positive highlight when held up against the meandering sea shanty of “Tortuga Tonight”, a song that would get run aground by the merest whisper of wind in its rigging, so listless is its attack.

Personally I find much of the rest of ONE to fall into a similar trap. Carter’s new compositions hitting like that of a band in a bar where you’d happily listen along as you sup away at your pint, before quickly deciding to see what excitement lay elsewhere. ONE is an honest and heartfelt collection but that doesn’t mean to say that it’s one that captures the imagination, or invigorates the senses.

Track Listing
1. Wings
2. Reachin' Out
3. Highway to Oblivion
4. Star Crossed
5. Cafe Elektric
6. Underground
7. Munich Song
8. Obsession
9. Tortuga Tonight
10. Sleeping with You

Added: September 7th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Colin Carter at facebook
Hits: 1001
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Carter, Colin: ONE
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2018-09-08 05:47:08
My Score:

Colin Carter is perhaps best known to progressive music fans as the lead singer of the prog rock band Flash. He formed the band along with the late Peter Banks in 1971 and the band released three albums in the early ‘70s before disbanding around 1974. In 2013 Carter and Ray Bennett (Flash’s original bassist) released the album Flash Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter. Earlier this year Carter released his first solo album titled One.

“Wings” gets the album under way with a nice slice of pop rock. Carter has a good voice and doesn’t try to over sing which is always a plus especially for older singers. It’s a laid back tune with a nice bluesy organ solo and catchy chorus. The ending backing vocals are very nice. “Reachin’ Out” adds blues and jazz into the mix with a swinging groove and a nice horn synth arrangement. On “Highway To Oblivion” Carter touches on prog with rhythmic twists and turns and a darker vibe. With the edgy “Star Crossed” a bit of Beatles flair is invoked, especially John Lennon, followed by the quirky rock of “Café Elektric” with its circus-like rhythms and excellent vocal arrangement. There are certainly some proggy touches here and there. The straight ahead rocker “Underground” has a nice blending of acoustic and electric guitar while “Munich Song” should please fans of early ‘70s Pink Floyd with its trippy guitar chords and laid back vocal delivery.

One is a mature rock album from a veteran musician who still has something to say. I for one hope is voice is heard.

» Reader Comments:

Carter, Colin: ONE
Posted by Colin Carter on 2018-05-08 07:25:38
My Score:

My thanks to Mr. Reid for taking the time to listen. I find myself agreeing with most of his points and since recording these songs, several of them have taken on a much more muscular form after being played live with a band ! More power and drive ! I'll use a different approach next time ! Life is a never ending learning experience, my friends. Thanks again Steve.

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