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Paul, Mick: Parallel Lives

The first solo album from veteran British bassist Mick Paul finds him recording with a long list of musicians and vocalists. With influences ranging from Yes and King Crimson to Frank Zappa and Chick Corea, Paul might best be known for his work with electric violinist and keyboardist David Cross, who was a member of King Crimson in the early Seventies.

The majority of the 14 songs on Parallel Lives feature Jinian Wilde on vocals, but a few moody instrumentals pepper the album’s second half, and Cross even shows up on the piano-heavy title track. Paul handles vocals on that one and presents himself as a low-key singer in the Steve Hackett vein.

What’s so revealing about these tracks -- and about Paul as a songwriter -- is that bass does not dominate any of them. Rather, the anxious jazz-rock of “No Horizon” is infused with a violin-like synth; the proggy and rhythmic “One Way Conversation” is dominated by drums and piano; and the instrumental “Swallows” is built on flute, whistles and fluttery keyboards in an obvious tribute to the small birds with dark, glossy backs. Then there are “Your Days” and “Beneath the Gate,” which both sound like something the English pop band Breathe night have recorded in 1987 -- in part thanks to Wilde’s voice.

“Comfort Zone" ranks as one of the album’s more upbeat tunes, with Steve Roberts' drumming and guitarist Paul Clark's riffing taking over, while the dark, thick and heavy “Name On You” (featuring vocals by Dennis Mahon) sounds more like what you might expect from a bassist’s solo album.

Parallel Lives is a diverse, pleasant and surprisingly subdued album suitable for intent listening or intriguing background music.

Track Listing:
1. Your Days
2. Light of Silence
3. No Horizon
4. Parallel Lives
5. Beneath the Gate
6. Uncharted Course
7. One Way Conversation
8. Cypher
9. Swallows
10. Comfort Zone
11. Frozen Perspective
12. Name On You
13. Consigned to Reality
14. Morning Skyline

Added: September 13th 2021
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Mick Paul Website
Hits: 567
Language: english

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