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Clive Nolan - Skeletons In the Cupboard CD (album) cover

SKELETONS IN THE CUPBOARD

Clive Nolan

 

Neo-Prog

2.00 | 3 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Neo Prog Team
2 stars Not much to say about one of the finest keyboard players in prog history.Nolan was born in the born 30th of June 1961 and received his B. Mus and M. Mus degrees at London University where he studied composition, orchestration and conducting.He has a huge career as a leading member of Pendragon, Arena, Shadowland, Caamora and many other projects, where anyone can find some of the best symphonic, Classical and Ambient keyboard textures ever performed by a musician.In 2003 Nolan released the archival album ''Skeletons in the Cupboard'', including mostly lost compositions from his extended career.

Unfortunately this work is not really representative of Nolan's talent, containing plenty of non-prog tracks.Three out of the twelve pieces belong to The Cast, a precursor band to Shadowland, performing in late-80's.All of them have a Pop/Art Rock feeling, far from Shadowland's sound, with easy-going tunes and careful use of synths and guitars, where the final result is decent but far from Progressive Rock.Shadowland are represented by two tracks, the highlight being the 10-min ''Jigsaw'', one of the classic tracks of the group in a typical Neo Prog vein.A few others are credited to Nolan's various collaborations, like the two Partners in Crime's cuts with Andy Smith on vocals, Tina Riley's ''In My Heart'' or the dance mix of Tracy Hitchings' ''Beauty and the Beast'', all of them have a Pop Rock/New Wave/Synth Pop approach with the dance mix sounding totally out of place.The last track ''Quantum Leap'' is a collaboration between Nolan and Martin Orford, a keyboard-led instrumental composition close to the styles of JADIS and IQ with some nice synth flights.The 14-min. instrumental ''Old Priest Suite'' was originally composed as a soundtrack for the film of the same name and is built around Nolan's keyboards with references to Ambient, New Age and Electronic Music, some moments sound flat, others are better with a richer sound.Propably the killer track of the album is the opening ''Walk on water'' with Nolan on vocals and keyboards, later included in Caamora's self-titled EP with Agnieszka Swita behind the microphone.Excellent, uptempo and powerful Neo/Art Rock with some very catchy musicianship.

The best cuts of the album appeared later in one form or another in different albums of Nolan's projects, the rest sound fairly uninteresting and far from the style Nolan has chosen for his music career.Recommended only to die-hard fans and archivists of Progressive Rock.

apps79 | 2/5 |

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