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Croft, Benjamin: We Are Here To Help

Keyboardist Benjamin Croft has assembled an incredible guest list of musicians for his latest release We Are Here To Help. Croft wastes no time as he comes out strong with the opening “We Are Here To Help”. When you have Stu Hamm, Greg Howe, and Marco Minneman you can’t lose. This one gets heavy, but has a good groove that keeps the listener on full alert. Listen closely to Hamm as he glides along as his bass keeps pace with Howe’s riffs; everyone gets a turn to cut loose, what a start! For as intricate as this music is, it is equally as catchy and melodic. The title track features Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, and Billy Sheehan’s signature growling bass roars underneath. The vocal gives this one a bit of a pop feel, but it still rips. Mike Stern lends his immediately recognizable style and tone to “You Made Me Miss” along with Simon Phillips and Stu Hamm. It’s not often that I praise a vocalist, but Lynsey Ward who appears on “Caught In The Flypaper” (and “Wrestling With Plato”) has a beautiful voice. Her voice soars over the track, and the instrumental sections take this from a melodic rocker into heavier territory. The album is a 50/50 mix of instrumental and vocal tracks, and Croft gives you a taste of fusion, prog, and metal, while keeping it melodic and focused. The legendary Frank Gambale is featured on “Lower Moat Manor”, sit back and enjoy his playing; it brought a smile to my face. I enjoyed the soloing of both Per Nilsson (guitar) and Croft on the closer “She Flies Softly On”.

Croft does it right, he gets great players and lets them do their thing. Let’s not forget the leader himself, I like that he uses a lot of Hammond and piano, and is quite the soloist himself. The music is memorable, and good songs will get you every time!

Track List:
1. The Age of Magrathea
2. We Are Here To Help
3. You Made Me Miss
4. Caught In The Flypaper
5. Same Siders
6. Wrestling With Plato
7. Lower Moat Manor
8. She Flies Softly On

Added: February 19th 2024
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 372
Language: english

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