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The Gift - Antenna CD (album) cover


The Gift


Symphonic Prog

3.08 | 20 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars 'A tastefully arranged change of musical direction'

The Gift is an English six piece formation that was founded in 2003, Antenna is its fourth album since 2006. I read about The Gift on the excellent band website interesting facts. 'The singer wanted to be Marc Bolan, Bryan Ferry, Freddy Mercury and then he felt in love with Genesis and prog, he is also an actor. The drummer turned from Buddy Rich (his father was a jazz drummer) to Carl Palmer, the bass player is a former guitarist, the keyboard player is a classical concert pianist, but he grew up with a father who loved King Crimson, and the band hosts two guitar players.' And singer Mike Morton tells about the new album 'It is rockier, more contemporary sounding, we wanted to do something more direct and punchy.' Listening to this new album I quickly conclude that this new The Gift sound is a goodbey to epic symphonic rock and a welcome to more modern sounding song-oriented eclectic rock. The first track We Are Connected turned out to be a pretty disappointing experience with its typical Nineties Neo-Prog climate, and I was afraid for a more disappointing music. But after listening the entire album I analyse that the first, very Nineties Neo-Prog sounding track doesn't represent the music from The Gift. Because from the second to the final tenth song The Gift delivers very varied and tastefully arranged songs, with lots of surprising musical ideas.

From dreamy to bombastic eruptions with splendid rock guitar and excellent work on keyboards (piano, soaring strings, flashy synthesizer and swirling organ) in the varied Changeling.

First a bluesy harmonica, soft wah wah guitar, warm acoustic rhythm guitar and vocals, and then an accellaration with electric piano, rock guitar and a jazzy piano solo with swinging bass in Long Time Dead.

A dreamy Grand piano intro, then tender and melancholical vocals in the wonderful mellow Snowfall.

Warm acoustic guitars in the only instrumental Hand In Hand.

Awesome rock guitar and Phil Lynott-like vocals, along a delicate synthesizer solo, in the exciting Thin Lizzy tribute Wild Roses (by the way, I wachted Thin Lizzy in 1978, awesome!)..

And a mellow, a bit dark atmosphere with very melancholical vocals in When You Are Old.

Although I am more into symphonic rock this new The Gift album pleasantly surprised me, what a tastefully arranged song- oriented eclectic rock music, embellished with outstanding vocals and strong work on keyboards and guitar. If you are up to The Gift its musical change of direction, this is an album to discover.

My rating: 3,5 star.

This review was recently published on the Dutch progrock website Background Magazine, in a slightly different version.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |


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