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Chris: Making Sense

Christiaan Bruin is a multi-instrumentalist from the Netherlands and has recently released his second album Making Sense on Progress Records. He is also the drummer for the progressive band Sky Architect who released their first album this year. I am a big fan of that album and while Making Sense sounds nothing like Sky Architect it is an excellent album in its own right.

This is a true solo effort as Chris plays all the instruments including drums, bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals. He is also credited with recording and producing demonstrating just how talented he is. This music sits squarely in the neo-prog tradition with elements of symphonic rock and pop. The focus is on songwriting and Chris has really crafted some great songs with riveting melodies and solid musicianship. If you are looking for over the top playing you might as well stop reading this now as you will not find that here. Solid arrangements are the order of the day, loaded with melodies and a '70s symphonic touch that should satisfy many fans of progressive rock both old and new.

This is a very lush sounding recording and the vocals are some of the best I have heard this year. Chris has an excellent voice which he uses to full effect throughout the disc. The vocal harmonies are spot on and recall The Beatles at their best. The layered vocal arrangements add a fullness to the sound that make you forget this is only one person. Other reference points would be the Canadian '70s band Klaatu as Chris really develops that pop/prog approach that made Klaatu such a fine band. I also hear bands like IQ and Pendragon, especially in the symphonic arrangements.

The album begins with the balladic "Resemblance" with sparse darker sounding keyboards and Chris's dream-like vocals. "Waking From a Dream" follows suit with a great keyboard melody and some emotive lead guitar. Soaring lead guitar ends this Klaatu inspired gem. The progressive pop of "To Fly" boasts fantastic vocal harmonies and the melodic title track features more beautiful harmonies and organ swells. This one hints of latter period Yes and The Beatles.

The album's longest song is the epic "Fantasy" with its ambient beginning of soft keys and soaring Gilmour-like guitar. More outstanding vocal harmonies ensue and a circus melody surfaces at various times reminding me of Klaatu.

Although this is not the most original album you will ever hear and Chris wears his influences on his sleeve, the songs are so melodic and finely crafted that you can throw the originality factor out the window. If you like your progressive rock mixed with dreamy pop flavoured hooks and exceptional vocals you are going to love this disc. I know I did.

Track Listing:
1. Resemblance (3:01)
2. Waking From a Dream (10:26)
3. To Fly (5:19)
4. Making Sense (7:10)
5. Fantasy (11:49)
6. Sky Castles (3:12)
7. Shades (6:10)
8. Eve of Destiny (9:28)
9. Wishful Thinking (3:23)
10. The Final Hour (9:52)

Added: November 22nd 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label Website
Hits: 2651
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Chris: Making Sense
Posted by Wim Verweij on 2010-12-12 13:16:29
My Score:

This is already the second album of Chris. His debut is A Glimpse Inside released in 2009.

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