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Flash - Flash CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.69 | 115 ratings

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5 stars I think I am a dissenter on all things Flash. I love, love, love this band. And I don't think they sound like Yes, at least not post-Time and a Word Yes. I'm not familiar enough with Yes' first two albums to comment. Well, Flash was where early Yes exiles hung their hats; a resemblance would be logical. But to reiterate, I don't compare Flash and Yes. Flash is one of those unusual guitar-dominant prog. bands. I wouldn't consider Flash guitarist, Peter Banks, a grandstander though. Quite to the contrary, the vocals, guitar and bass create a rare synergy. It doesn't hurt either that Flash has the perfect production with Derek Lawrence aided by Peter Banks.

Let's start at the beginning, none too small. The debut album's hit and arguably strongest song drives the potted review. The antithesis of the stereotypical prog axe clinician, Banks always entertains with his plentiful and varied riffs. Some of the other songs on Flash's debut well illustrate Banks' general style. "Children of the Universe" is anchored by a special Banks riff used sparingly to great effect. On the solo to "The Time it Takes" Bank's so-called "spidery triplets" work their magic. The heartfelt songwriting on the Flash debut generates that warm, fuzzy feeling all over that this jaded reviewer rarely anymore experiences. I contemplate a six month rotation of recorded books in my CD machine. Then Flash resurfaces and throws a wrench in my plans.

"Morning Haze" is joyful jaunt where one can literally feel Ray Bennett's acoustic guitar weave the song space like a tapestry. The conga drums and Colin Carter's honey-like voice make this simpler song stellar. Carter should be more of a household name. He has a unique voice, indescribably so. Pure bliss, though.

"Dreams of Heaven" is the epic number here. A grandiose flourish of an intro sends it off. It explores different moods and transitions flawlessly between heavy and merely spirited sections. OK, here Carter's vocals are a bit Jon-Anderson-like in cadence and emphasis but still quite distinct from Yes. The jam in the middle is sublime fare, up there with the best of them. Its success is its subtlety. Soloing on this song, Banks kicks out some jazz licks. He's the one artist who can play on the jazz end and not send me sprinting toward the door. That's because he always keeps it fresh.

The time it takes to run through this album isn't even perceivable. This record is such pure mirth. What more can I say about the closer besides it being a beautiful, touching ballad?! Oh yeah, I can gush how the melody is brilliant. They don't make 'em like this anymore.

steamhammeralltheway | 5/5 |


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