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Downes Braide Association: Halcyon Hymns

Geoff Downes Has certainly made a name for himself among progressive music fans as his name is behind the likes of Asia, The Buggles and Yes. He can also write a pretty good pop song, his songcraft in those bands cannot be denied. On the other hand, British singer/songwriter Chris Braide has worked extensively within the realm of pop music. The two musicians initially teamed up in 2012 and released their first alum titled Pictures Of You. Recently the duo has released their fourth studio album titled Halcyon Hymns. Appearing on the album are:

Geoff Downes (piano, keyboards, programming)
Chris Braide (vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar, programming)
Dave Bainbridge (guitars, bouzouki, mandolin, keys)
Andy Hodge (bass guitars)
Ash Soan (drums)
Barney Ashton-Bullock (narration written and performed)
Marc Almond (vocals and second verse lyric on “Warm Summer Sun”)
Tim Weller (drums on “She’ll Be Riding Horses”, percussion on “Holding The Heavens”)
Joe Catcheside (Narration on “Today”, backing vocals on “Love Among The Ruins”)
David Longdon (harmony vocals on “King Of The Sunset”)
Elijah and Sascha Braide (backing vocals on “Love Among The Ruins” and “Holding The Heavens”)

The band continues to make sophisticated pop and rock music on Halcyon Hymns and may even be a step up from past works. The guitar work of Bainbridge is very noticeable, whether its his delicious twelve string textures in the atmospheric and melodic “King Of The Sunset” or his stunning leads in the earworm that is “Love Among The Ruins”. The soaring guitar in the classy “Your Heart Will Find The Way” and the delicious twelve string in the stylish pop of “Holding The Heavens” will keep any fan of melodic music in rapt attention. I have to say Braide’s vocals are quite sublime. The art pop and earworm melodies keep on coming with the absorbing and bass heavy “Beachcombers” and the heartwarming ballad “Warm Summer Sun”.

Also included is a bonus DVD featuring a workshop by world renown artist Roger Dean and three promotional videos. It should not be surprising that Dean’s artwork for the album is of the highest quality and like the music it exudes optimism, something that has been lacking in these trying times. Highly recommended.

A Cherry Red Records release.

Track Listing:
1. Love Among The Ruins
2. King Of The Sunset
3. Your Heart Will Find The Way
4. Holding The Heavens
5. Beachcombers
6. Warm Summer Sun
7. Today
8. Hymn To Darkness
9. She’ll Be Riding Horses (For Sue)
10. Late Summer
11. Remembrance
12. Epilogue

Bonus DVD:
Roger Dean Live Painting Sessions
Promotional Videos:
1. Love Among The Ruins
2. Your Heart Will Find The Way
3. Today

Added: September 30th 2021
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1318
Language: english

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