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Colin Masson - Isle Of Eight CD (album) cover

ISLE OF EIGHT

Colin Masson

 

Crossover Prog

3.58 | 30 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars One of the measures of artists' success could be their influence on others, and their legions of fawning imitators or even just those who have spliced some of their heroes' DNA onto their own cellular structure. Using such a yardstick, MIKE OLDFIELD has been remarkably successful, and his followers have been able to pick and choose their favourite phases of their hero's career

COLIN MASSON has fixated primarily the first 10 years of Oldfield's output, with an emphasis on his Celtic interests, not surprisingly given Masson's involvement in the MORRIGAN, but some much heavier moments confute his background. The general moodiness of the disk can be viewed as both a strength and a weakness, but his ADD battles with mine for supremacy, which makes my listening experience less than optimal.

Three long tracks, almost entirely instrumental, with virtually all sounds emanating from this multitalented fellow, do present a daunting prospect, but this is generally quite a pleasant if fragmented listen, and I find myself wandering its passages befuddled. What can one make of the reggae tune sung by Cathy Alexander about halfway through the title cut? It is so out of place as to be laughable, but instead I just sing along happily. The ability to juxtapose the absurd with the reverent is a gift that Masson would do well to cultivate.

This might not be more than an esoteric reference point, but English guitarist PAUL BRETT comes to mind at times, with initial portions of "Total Eclipse" recalling Brett's 1978 tour de force, "Interlife", particularly in the somewhat jazzy acoustic guitar work. New age styles are in evidence everywhere, but contrasted by Masson's lead guitars which could easily be body doubles for those of Oldfield. Some of the beats conjure the more electronic world music achievements of AFRO CELT SOUND SYSTEM or MARTYN BENNETT, except that Masson does this without inundating the listener with electronica, which is to his credit.

It is unfortunate that "Isle of Eight" has been Masson's only release, because it is a prog meets Celtic hybrid replete with snippets of the man's potential, even if you might not choose it for your desert isle.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |

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