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John Holden - Kintsugi CD (album) cover


John Holden



4.09 | 28 ratings

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4 stars JOHN HOLDEN is this English multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer who creates typed pastoral progressive sounds; he manages to bring in beautiful people for a condensed rock, folk, jazz, hard, flamenco and classical, he who has composed and kept an emotional link with the progressive since the start. 2018 is his personal musical birth with a good neo where the voices are often female. A universe quite varied in terms of musical genre, an album here on the art of repairing oneself and becoming stronger, a little resilience in fact useful in this completely inhuman world. Symphonic prog rock in my opinion eclectic but let's see.

Album with two long tracks including "Achilles" and the fabulous voice of Joe PAYNE telling the story of the hero, to shiver; a slow rise where the voice bewitches while waiting for the thunderous solo break, guitar and synths bordering on heavy, which shows that metal has really taken over; grandiloquent air coming from the Heavens, the mother's complaint can do nothing to the destiny of her son, a remarkable progressive musical tragedy to listen to in view of the musical research. "Ringing the Changes" for the country folk rhyme, piano, acoustic guitar, violin, bells to protect oneself from urban life; childish air, a little used and overrated, good for listening at Christmas. "Kintsugi" with Peter JONES on vocals, on a phrasing of the archangel to talk about the current life, sublime; air a tad Japanese before the progressive rise; Frank's violin break in the ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA all in symphony, the emotion is at the rendezvous on this monolithic tune sublimated by a solo by Michel from MYSTERY which reminds us that prog or art-rock has the most beautiful solos in genre. "Flying Train" intro on the German SNCF and the announcement of an ominous train going to WUPPERTAL; latent atmosphere, dark pads letting imagine the advancing vehicle, a bit of flute, in short prog rock at the bottom. Japanese keyboards in the background to extend the previous title then the whole orchestra, perched on a wagon, gives a moving vibration; aerial instrumental piece where the final piano seems to show the way, very beautiful, high and symphonic.

"Xenos" on the reception, not easy in these uncertain times, air la ALAN PARSONS or ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA, that's good Iain is present. Plaintive then high voice giving a groovy, soulful air well supported by Vikram's crystalline organ; consensus title deja vu. "Against the Tide" with its brass parts on BRAND X see TOTO; romantic air which denotes on a prog album, evolution or turn, the sax between melancholy and emotional sweetness for a jazzy soft funk because it has to be called that, it's up to you to decide. "Peggy's Cove" sublime intro that catches up with the listener with an Irish / Scottish air to make the hairs of the progs stand up (yes the hair must be more and more rare for them!); arrival in Nova Scotia and Sally gives a bounding Celtic folk sound to take as an interlude before "Building Heaven" and the second long cult track, good easy since it is about the elevation of the COVENTRY cathedral. Flute by Jean from Les MYSTERY to give voice to Sally, classical orchestration with violins, jangling, brass and guitar arpeggio from Genesis; the break with the siren, the planes show the hell undergone, the heavy violins amplify the climate; stunning progressive piece with a dazzling rising guitar solo before returning to an Andalusian arpeggio where bossa nova notes seem to translate drops of water; the finale with the choirs, the bells send me back to Mike OLDFIELD for the characteristic atmosphere and the end, the silence still seems to be part of the title.

John HOLDEN asks me questions with his albums; mat titles, pastoral, folk, groovy, good but presenting nothing fundamentally new and ready to come and rank among other achievements; and then some titles sublimate the album to the point of imagining it as the album of the month. Such is the result of listening to this convoluted, varied and disconcerting symphonic progressive. We feel the search, the desire to share an unforgettable moment; a non-retro progressive because showing the evolution of this kind of music that never stops evolving. For those who loved the creativity of GENESIS in its time, run and listen, buy it and keep it hidden for you, it's a nugget that would have exploded much more without the two jazzy folk tracks in the middle. 4.5 points for info.

alainPP | 4/5 |


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