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Steve Thorne - Emotional Creatures - Part One CD (album) cover


Steve Thorne


Crossover Prog

3.29 | 46 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Part 1 Emotional Creatures

Road technician goes his own way, as Steve Thorne spent many years as a Pendragon concert stalwart and courageously embarked on a prolific solo career, with a little help from his many friends and musical acquaintances. There is a bevy of illustrious names that most fans will recognize Paul Cook, Martin Orford and John Jowitt of IQ, the Jadis crew are all here with the addition of Gary Chandler and Steve Christey , drummer Nick D'Virgilio of Spocks Beard as well as Geoff Downes of Asia and the inimitable Tony Levin. Not a bad lineup ! Thorne's singing style appears to veer near Fish territory, albeit a mellower version than the wild Scotsman, poignant lyrics and passionate vocals are his main signatures. Upon first spin, the perception is confusing because it is surely far from "deep" acts such as Porcupine Tree or the other bands mentioned above whose members guest here. You need to listen to this a few times and then suddenly conclude that many of the songs bloom like a fine wine, enticing the sonic palate with lingering staying power. Both "Ten Years" and "Julia" are exceptional pieces that I discovered only after hearing them incrusted in my brain while working, unaware at first of their impact. On the masterful "Gone" bassist John Jowitt (of IQ, Arena and Jadis fame) shows why he is so highly touted and revered in the prog community, his Rickenbacker dueling with a fretless bass in some tribal demonstration of presence and power. His handling of both is dizzying, certainly a unique display of the "basso profundo" at its best. (I will state it again ad nauseam, that prog bassists are gleaming as well as creative, twisting not only technique but tone as well). The other jewel here is the gut wrenching anti-cocaine anthem "Last Line", a rousing and bitter rant against the ravages of blow, with imperative lyrics and disturbing vocals. This is primo stuff that defies being ignored, a passionate tirade against this evil powder. "Therapy" is another grower, a prog ballad that shines lusciously and remains hummable after only a few spins. Days later, it remains moored in the shores of my memory bank. The sweeping mandolin caressed "Tumbleweeds" is also an extremely pleasant ride, emitting overt folk tendencies that wink at Guy Manning. The sarcastic "God Bless America" wanders into anti-Bush territory first explored by colleagues IQ on the quirky "Harvest of Souls" from Dark Matter, walking the thin line between loving and hating the USA (it's always been the government not the people, yanks!). Everything is delicately appealing, great production, astounding artwork from Tony Lythgoe and sizzling playing by all the invitees who strive not to overshadow the delicacy of Thorne's songs. This is personal music that will charm and seduce the casual listener as well as a fine example of the successful simplicity of prog . Ideal escape when you need not challenge your ears and mind to excruciating complexity and just want to float in succulent serenity. Very unexpected and very impressed, I am! 4 arousing spikes.

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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