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Manning - The Cure CD (album) cover

THE CURE

Manning

 

Eclectic Prog

3.67 | 31 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Of the Manning issues I have heard, this is my favourite. While at times he can wax a bit overly sentimental and literal in his lyrics, and alternate uncomfortably between harder and softer styles, this is rarely a problem on "The Cure". This album sounds more like a group effort too, which is usually a plus even for an album by a solo artist - that is, the accompanying instrumentalists sound like they are more than just guests. This is not to take anything away from Manning himself who handles a variety of tasks including fretted instruments, percussion, songwriting, and impassioned but not overemotive vocals. It is folk based but also much too "big" in the production and instrumentation to really be considered a folk album by any stretch.

The album absolutely explodes out of the gate with "Domicile", which is everything I could want in a progressive "song". It's very symphonic and features cutting lyrics about the havoc wreaked by mankind on the planet, yet it does not sound preachy at all. I'm too busy enjoying the arrangements to get depressed by it either. On "A Strange Place", we are treated to a ballad with magnificent strings. "Whispers on the Wire" incorporates Doors and Moody Blues influences into something quite energetic and unique. "Songs of Faith" is a paean to the difficult Apollo 13 flight with a suitably languid mood. The violins and piano combinations in the instrumental breaks are especially appealing. "Falling" is another fine ballad augmented by sax. The title cut is overly ambitious 17 minutes and falls into some of the patterns that would become more common in his later work, such as coming across as a set of insufficiently related pastiches, although the "Hello Dr Strange" segment is pretty impressive taken on its own, thanks to a fine melody and arrangements.

While it might not be everything for what ails you, "The Cure", like a generous helping of chicken soup, will probably help a lot and certainly won't hurt.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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