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Steve Cochrane - The Purest of Designs  CD (album) cover

THE PUREST OF DESIGNS

Steve Cochrane

 

Crossover Prog

3.62 | 8 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars During the second half of the 90's Steve Cochrane decided to take his music to another level.Aiming towards a more Classic Prog sound he recorded his third album with a more balanced instrumentation, including all kind of guitars plus bass, keyboards and drums.For the first time he recruited a few guests in an album, Murray Bosch, Marie Bodine and Mary Dube help out on backing voices, while Kevin Richards and Roland Ivarsson offer some help on drum programming.The new album ''The purest of designs'' was his third consecutive effort on his own Spirit Compass label.

From the opening notes of ''To the glory of man'' the listener can detect Cochrane's new horizons, which focus on a GENESIS/YES-influenced Progressive Rock with beautiful melodies and lush orchestral parts, although the following ''When music speaks'' bring some MIKE OLDFIELD mood with the use of acoustic rhythms and the ethereal female voices.By far the absolute centerpiece of the album is the 27-min. 7-part opus ''Songs for spring''.A majestic track, shifting between long, instrumental variations, delicate melodies, GABRIEL-esque type of vocals and emphatic, symphonic textures.Lots of breaks lead to vintage-styled arrangements with strong GENESIS, YES and CAMEL influences, highlighted by the orchestral keyboards and the moving guitar parts.There is a light MARILLION/CITIZEN CAIN influence in the more synth-drenched parts as well as the intelligent, theatrical vocals.The musicianship is very solid with endless changes and harmonic themes and overall the composition is extremely tight and a nice example of rich Neo/Symphonic Prog.The acoustic and lyrical ''Dreams of reason'' will remind of the folky moments of early GENESIS and the album closes with the 15-min. ''The promise of the music'', an absolute OLDFIELD-ian stunner with classical guitars and atmospheric synthesizers in the forefront, delivering impressive soundscapes, and two grand breaks with grandiose symphonic keyboards and soaring electric guitars added for good measure.

A huge surprise by a really talented man.One of the greatest one-man efforts you can find out there, offering superb and sufficient Neo/Symphonic Prog with nostalgic touches.Absolutely fabulous and highly recommended release.

apps79 | 4/5 |

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