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Matthew Parmenter - All Our Yesterdays CD (album) cover

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS

Matthew Parmenter

 

Neo-Prog

3.88 | 104 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars Another stellar collection of songs from DISCIPLINE leader/founder Matthew Parmenter--with probably the best recording/mix/engineering I've ever heard from a Parmenter/Discipline album. The power and emotion of Matthew's vocal performances are unsurpassed in modern music.

Even the Country/Western instrumentation of the second half of 1. "Scheherazade" (3:40) can't spoil the amazing vocal herein. (9/10)

2. "Danse du Ventre" (2:48) plays out an absolutely gorgeous chord progression from start to finish with Frippertronics, bass, tuned and untuned percussion accompanying the piano. (9/10)

3. "Digital" (3:39) opens with piano and sustained organ chords while Matthew sings. It feels like a classic PROCUL HARUM song or something of that late-60s ilk, even in the section section with the plucked strings and the third sect with acoustic and electric guitars (which remind me very much of THE STRAWBS). Beautiful, powerful vocals. A top three song for me. (9/10)

4. "I Am a Shadow" (3:51) opens with slow piano arpeggi and bass/bass drum hits as a plaintive MP sings. Programmed drums and guitar arpeggi join in in the first chorus. Odd deep bubbling synth sound in the last 90 seconds is embellished by synth strings and airy background vocals. Very nice if a little simple. (9/10)

5. "All for Nothing" (5:08) opens with some ominous, deep piano notes that are carried forward into the vocal section. Matthew enters with his classic deep voice, enticing us into his web of emotion. Here the old Peter Hammill comparisons cannot help but take place--though I am of the opinion that Matthew is a far more powerful and skillful vocalist than Mr. Hammill. This is the most powerful song, vocal, and my favorite from this album. (10/10) 6. "All Our Yesterdays" (4:12) is another stellar example of the Parmenter gift. Moody, and broody, we are treated to an almost Edgar Allan Poe-like journey on this one--delivered and carried almost exclusively by Matthew's voice and lyric--though the guitar solo beginning at 2:52 is truly wonderful. My other top three song. (9/10)

7. "Stuff in the Bag" (5:34) opens with a bouncy piano chord play that feels quite incongruous with the mood established by the previous songs--especially the last two. This is a song that feels like it came from the 1970s- -an ELTON JOHN "Brown Dirt Cowboy"-era imitation. This is where the album begins to deteriorate in my esteem--though the production, sound and performance quality remains high, it is the song stylings that are a let down. And at 5:34 it seems to go on forever! (6/10)

8. "Inside" (5:41) beautiful piano chords and intermittent acoustic guitar chords accompany the opening vocal. Soft drum play, bass and organ join in for the chorus--and stay till the end. It's a pretty though simple song, reliant upon the lyric to keep us engaged (or not). The bass play is quite engaging--I like the levels it has in the mix--rather forward--whereas the congas that join in in the third minute are purely obnoxious they're so far forward in the mix--I actually find them detracting from my enjoyment of Matthew's truly wonderful vocal--at least, that is, until the 4:31 when Matthew shocks even me with one of the most heart-wrenching Todd- Rundgren-like vocal displays. Wow! (9/10)

9. "Consumption" (1:59) is a simple acoustic guitar accompanied song in a C/W-folk vein of delivery. Better upon repeated listens. (8/10)

10. "Hey for the Dance" (5:01) opens in classic MP/Peter Hammill fashion--even adding a second track of vocals to the lead in the second verse. Piano, cymbals, and accordion accompany this vocal (auto-duet) through the first two minutes until a full band sound crashes in giving it a definite Green Linnet/Scottish folk song feel. At 3:10 it would seem the song was ending but then a jazzy piano riff shifts the song into BILLY JOEL Turnstiles-era music (with a bluesy guitar solo) to the end). Weird, odd, incongruous. (7/10)

4.5 stars; an excellent addition to any prog lovers music collection.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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