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Airey, Don: A Light In The Sky

If you are ready for a sci-fi adventure, do nothing more than listen to the latest CD from Deep Purple keyboardist Don Airey. With it's themes of time and space this one is a real trip. Joining Airey are Danny Bowes, Harry James, Chris Childs (of the band Thunder), Darrin Mooney (Gary Moore, Primal Scream), Carl Sentance (Krokus, Tokyo Rose) and Laurence Cottle (Eric Clapton, Brian Eno, Alan Parsons). Airey is an excellent keyboard player and really shows his chops on this disc. There are five vocal tracks and the rest are instrumental. The vocal tracks have a real Deep Purple vibe while the instrumentals take on a very spacey approach, sometimes reminding me of Jean Michelle Jarre. Throughout the album Airey uses a myriad of keyboard sounds and of course the Hammond organ playing is very good. Songs vary from hard rockers to atmospheric ambient pieces with lots of keyboards and synths.

The adventure starts with a couple of instrumental tracks with plenty of keys and synths - very spacey indeed. "Ripples Through The Fabric Of Time" features excellent organ play. The first track to feature vocals is "Shooting Star" and reminds me of classic Purple. The vocals of Sentance are strong, they really have a 70s feel, and the guitar riff makes this one a good rocker. "Andromeda M31" features excellent lead guitar, crunchy riffs and that classic organ sound that Airey is well known for. Again, the space theme is prominent and the music fits the title of the song perfectly. "Endless Night" is a real rockin' tune that has a distinctive Ayreon quality reminding me of something from Flight of the Migrator. This album does closely parallel Ayreon, sometimes in the music and definitely in it's lyrical themes. It does have a space opera feel to it. Do not get me wrong however, as this is not a copy cat by any means. Airey puts his own stamp on the proceedings with his excellent keyboard work. "Rocket To The Moon" is a short track with a rockabilly beat you can tell they had fun with. Musically this one does not really fit in with the rest of the album, but is an enjoyable listen nonetheless. The tasteful keyboard work in "Somarero" is outstanding with Airey showing off his skill. The short instrumental "Into Orbit" features guest musician Lidia Baich adding her prowess on violin to go along with the keyboard flourishes of Airey. Perhaps my favorite tune, the up-tempo "A Light In The Sky (Pt 2)", is a real prog-rock workout featuring outstanding Hammond fills and top notch playing from the rest of the band.

Overall, this album features high quality musicianship, none more so than Airey himself. I knew he was good but he really brought his A-game to this piece. Highly recommended for those who like hard rock with strong progressive and space elements and are fans of the aforementioned bands. A very solid 4.5 stars.

Track Listing:
1) Big Bang
2) Ripples In The Fabric Of Time
3) Shooting Star
4) Space Troll Patrol
5) Andromeda M31
6) Endless Night
7) Rocket To The Moon
8) Lift Off
9) Love You Too Much
10) Cartwheel ESO 350-40
11) Sombrero M104
12) Into Orbit
13) A Light In The Sky (Pt 2)
14) Pale Blue Dot
15) Metallicity
16) Big Crunch
17) Lost In The End Of Time

Added: December 24th 2008
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 2068
Language: english

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