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Manning - The Cure  CD (album) cover

THE CURE

Manning

 

Eclectic Prog

3.68 | 24 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

apps79
Special Collaborator
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Next album by Guy Manning came under the title ''The cure'', apparently a concept release divided in three themes, but this time he removed his first name, propably to indicate that the gathering of musicians around him worked as a proper group.The line-up of Manning/Tilson/Barrett/Baskind is now supported by talented female sax player Laura Fowles and two experienced violin players, Ian Tothill and Iain Fairbairn.The album was recorded in two studios, The Burnside in Leeds and The MBL Heron Garth in Burley-in-Wharefedale, and it was completely written by Manning apart from the opening piece, which was co-written by Tilson.Cyclops was again the distributor.

The opening theme ''Syndrome'', consists of only one track, the 10-min. ''Domicile'', which sounds like the emerging THE TANGENT, a mix of old-fashioned Prog stylings, fronted by symphonic textures in the vein of GENESIS and YES with a good bunch of Canterbury-styled piano and organ and some attacking VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR-like saxes, a real winner.The following 36 minutes composed the second theme ''Therapy'', split in five cuts.Here the assault of Manning in vintage Prog moves continues, even if the contemporary sound is quite evident.Some keyboard parts are a bit pale and flat, but the arrangements are pretty cool with nods to SPOCK'S BEARD and a nice Canterbury contribution in the organ parts.Lots of angular synthesizers and dual keyboard runs, a fair amount of acoustic interludes, beautiful breaks into keyboard-led ambiences and impressive guitar exercises with both melodic solos and jazzy chords.CAMEL, GENESIS and NATIONAL HEALTH are among the bands to spring to mind during this theme, which provides lots of room for instrumental variety and some surprising British Folk tunes via the use of violins.Closing theme ''Prognosis'' is built around the 17-min. title-track and you should propably expect a true grandieur for the album's outro.But this is not the case here, ''The cure'' appears to be the most uneven piece of this work.It is not bad at all, but it seems to be more down-to-earth material compared to the previously displayed stuff.Basically a long Neo/Symphonic Prog piece with smooth singing parts, big symphonic keyboards and emphatic instrumental moves with synthesizers and organ in evidence along with loose guitar plays, passing both through cinematic and bombastic textures and even some sound effects in the process creating dreamy soundscapes, but the farewell minutes are rather minimalistic and secure, based on electronics and some nervous but fake synthesizers, only saved by a great Mellotron washing.

While ''The cure'' is not totally convincing, it shows a talented artist developing its composing level within the progressive borders.Production is also a bit restrained, but the music quality is usually great and sufficient.Pretty cool and warmly recommended Prog Rock.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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