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Elegant Simplicity - Kicking the Olive Branch CD (album) cover

KICKING THE OLIVE BRANCH

Elegant Simplicity

 

Neo-Prog

3.87 | 11 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars have known Steven for more than twenty years now, from back in the days when he was releasing cassettes (which I still have!), and for the clear majority of that time he has basically been a solo artist, adding the odd musician or singer as the need arises. I have always been a fan, so when he said to me that he thought it might just be his best work yet. I was intrigued. Certainly, what I didn't expect was the most complete band effort of his career to date. 'Timely Reminder' opens the album, with the sax of Nathan Madsen keeping track with Steven's guitar, which immediately made me think of Blodwyn Pig. Then after only a few bars the music was moving and changing, going into new areas, returning to themes and then off again.

The next song contained real flute, care of Noam Goldstein, and by now I realised that I was listening to something quite special. Back in the day, Steven would have created all these sounds using keyboards, but here he has brought together a group of skilled musicians that is lifting his music to a whole new level. Although he has used singers in the past, most notably Ken Senior of Evolution, this is an instrumental album and I think Steven is right in what he said. In 2017, after more than twenty full-length releases, he has produced his finest and most complete work to date. I have been playing it a great deal, and the only major fault with this fifty-two-minute long album is that it is just too short (and hence contains just the one epic, the title cut which breaks the twenty-minute barrier).

Steven has been putting out quality albums for a long time now, but now could not be a better time to discover his music, as this is superb from the very first note to the last.

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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