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Simon, Alan: Songwriter

Alan Simon is a French singer/songwriter who has delved into musicals, Celtic music and grand symphonic rock productions. His latest album is a two disc retrospective titled Songwriter. Disc one focuses on his world and symphonic side while disc two is labeled his ‘British side’. There are forty tracks in total with a playing time over two hours so there is a lot to absorb. The selections cover a period between 1995 and 2017. He also has help from many other bands and artists which brings lots of variety to the mix. This is the first I have heard his music.

CD one is a mixture of symphonic and Celtic pieces or a combination of the two. The first track “Celtic Ring” is a nice Celtic folk offering, very upbeat and melodic. Next is “Les Cavaliers du Vent” from the film �" Gengis and is a fairly mellow but nice enough track. His world music leanings can be heard on the East Indian inspired “World” featuring lovely vocals from Brankica Vasic. The symphonic “Morholt” has a big dramatic sound with some pretty nice electric guitar work as well. On “War”, the large orchestral elements are emphasized although this time his Celtic side is also revealed with the use of acoustic guitar and Uillean pipes. Martin Barre guests on “Dun Aengus” featuring climactic crescendos and Barre’s muted guitar soloing amongst a full orchestral sound. Choral vocals add to the drama. Another favourite is “The Vision” with superb lead vocals by John Wetton combined with pretty acoustic guitar. The sultry saxophone in the moody “I’m Not The Only One”, courtesy of John Anthony Helliwell (ex-Supertramp) is another highlight.

The second disc begins with “No Man’s Land”, a nice pop rocker featuring the vocals of Peter Garret (Midnight Oil) followed by the smooth pop of “Come” with crisp lead guitar, sumptuous background vocals and wonderfully melodic trumpet. On the pretty “The Elements” Roger Hodgson lends his distinctive voice accompanied by lilting acoustic guitar and symphonic strings. This one is comparable to his Eye Of The Storm album. Jon Anderson supplies excellent lead vocals on the moody rocker “Circle of Life”. Another excellent track with nice acoustic sounds mixed with dramatic bursts of guitar. The short saxophone solo also deserves to be mentioned.

Add guest appearances by Fairport Convention, Billy Preston, Justin Hayward and Mick Fleetwood and you have the makings of a very good compilation with quite a diversity of sounds. This has certainly been a pleasant surprise. Recommended.

Track Listing:
CD 1 (My world & symphonic side)
1. Celtic Ring
2. Les Cavaliers du Vent
3. World
4. Morholt
5. The Origins pt 1
6. The Kings
7. Lettre à Yseult
8. Dihun
9. War
10. Ad Libitum
11. Celtic Land
12. Beltaine
13. Skye
14. Castle Rock
15. Dun Aengus
16. The End
17. In the Wind of the Celtic Dream
18. The Vision
19. I’m Not the Only One
20. Adela

CD 2 (My British side)
1. No Man’s Land
2. Come
3. The Elements
4. Dancing Heart
5. Circle of Life
6. Fame and Glory
7. Peace on Earth
8. Angel’s Tears
9. Where is the Way
10. On the Road
11. Jangadero
12. Evil Day
13. Secret Garden
14. World
15. Motherland
16. Saman
17. Marie La Cordelière
18. Lugh
19. Desire
20. A Prayer for my Lover

Added: May 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 781
Language: english

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