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The Gift - Awake And Dreaming CD (album) cover


The Gift


Symphonic Prog

4.02 | 63 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I am awake and I am not dreaming! This is a gift recording that I intend to treasure for along time, still stunned by the splendor of the creativity, the style and the audacity of the musicians dedicated to wrapping this up in so much style and substance. The Gift would be an ideal present to bequeath to a prog pal, a dizzying multi-flavored concoction that truly defies pigeon-holing, a progressive onslaught reminiscent of some of the more edgy current breed (the new Galahad, Arena, PTree, Pure Reason Revolution, Nemo, Xang etc.) offering some first-rate neo-prog ("Little Red Rooftops", "Turning of the Tide") , some classic mellotron-infested prog (the awesome title track , the frantic "Quickening Pulse" and the frenetic "Lune de Miel") with hints of a proggy Jackson Browne (on the brilliant Auld Lang Syne-ish "Doubt") , a union of high-octane Allman Brothers with a dash of punky Stranglers (the brash "The Dance of Denial"), some bar room Killer Queen Brit rock ("The Carpeted Corridors"), a sizable dose of Roger Waters ("Nocturne", "No One Came"), a taste of Blue Oyster Cult like rapid-fire guitar boogie (the delirious "Escalation"), a little Genesis here ("Close to Angels"), a little Camel there ("Adoration") and a bloody partridge in a proggy pear tree ! Mike Morton's high quality vocals and lyrics are compelling and typically British, Leroy James provides some polyvalent at times snarling guitar stylings, with hard-stun rhythm blasts jockeying with corkscrew searing solos with the accent on the dramatic and the powerful. Keyboardist Jim Thomas sprinkles squeaking synth gurgles, with occasional mellotron blankets and slinky piano promenades. The bass and drums are a well-lubricated tandem that kicks, screams and rumbles in the best prog tradition. The slow, moody passages lightly camouflage a highly apparent sense of darkness, which only serves to service the harsher contrasts, making this a constant roller coaster of astounding sounds and amazing musical snapshots. This is a fine example of the growing exhilaration coming with repeated listens, a trait particular to progressive music where there are so many layers to peel away , making it such a spirited adventure each time out . There are many highlights but this is really one long extended piece of music that just flows naturally. A definite Gift for any proglover. 5 presents
tszirmay | 5/5 |


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