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


Steve Thorne

Crossover Prog

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4 stars Great modern symphonic prog!

Steve Thorne did it again! The first part of emotional creatures was a fine debut album. Beautiful folkish prog rock with great emotion and fine melodies. Whith the guest musicians of that caliber you can only expect perfect effort. In part two there are more interesting guests from todays top prog groups and after a couple of listenings I must admit that this is even better than the part one. Music is bigger. More diverse. More symphonic.

If you like bands like SB and the ones the guests come I highly recommend you to give this a try. You might just like what you hear! Four and a half stars really.

Report this review (#114958)
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Steve Thorne is barely known for Prog listeners majority. Some know them as "that guy who served as a guitar tech in ARENA / PENDRAGON crew". This is unfair. You must give his CD a spin. Or few more :)

Steve plays songs, not your Progressive Bombastic Show-Off Kind Of Thing. LastFMs tags claim he's a "singer-songwriter", and this is rather true. His style is close to PORCUPINE TREE mellowest songs, less dark but not weaker for sure. So, 3 stars here only for the fact that it's not quite Prog (in my book at least). Nice and enjoyable tunes, some are pretty catchy, in best Neo / Crossover Prog traditions (just look at the list of the men who helped him with his album!). If you want to make yourself an hour of good singing / playing but feel incomfortable if it could be not Prog ;), then take Steve's CD and enjoy. This part is slightly better than the first one was, so all I can say is recommended!

Report this review (#154458)
Posted Thursday, December 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars WAVES OF EMOTIONS I have kept this "Emotional Creatures #2" in my shopping cart for a while...until I read the news that the 3rd album from Steve Thorne is next to I decided to give it a try. Also the musician line-up was so impressive to read (gosh! A squadron of favorite proggers!). The final impression is that I like this album, I like this kind of music. Not too dark, even joyful in some cases, maybe easy to reach...but not banal. Deep basses, no distorted guitars, melodic keybords and back sounds...not really in the heavy side of prog, at all. But with some blistering moments, like the fantastic and blowing final 2min 30sec of "Hounded", with full-fledged band weapons firing.

Like waves, the songs of "Emotional Creatures #2" are not taking the listener by storm, they are not really deep, but they are anyway stirring and moving the great ocean of music. And Steve Thorne keeps the helm with good talent. Do I need to add that pretty soon the next Steve Thorne will be added to my shopping cart? 3 Solid stars, and recommended to whom likes melodies in prog music.

Report this review (#242486)
Posted Friday, October 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Part 2 of the Emotional Creatures saga.

I really enjoyed, somewhat unexpectedly, the debut "Emotional Creatures Part 1" and it remains firmly entrenched in my playlists. As some have already mentioned, Steve Thorne is a truthful projection of artistry in its most precious and pure form, a delightful tunesmith that chisels rough cuts that are adroitly adorned and polished with proggy shine from a shimmering cast of guest musicians from IQ (Orford), Jadis (Jowitt, Chandler, Christey) , Yes (Downes), Spock's Beard (Meros, D'Virgilio), King Crimson (Levin), Porcupine Tree's Gavin Harrison, Pete Trewavas from Marillion , Arena's John Mitchell and many more?. These are all heartfelt songs that have meaning and substance, dealing with ills of modern society and enveloped in a highly original delivery, quite reminiscent of similar multi- instrumentalist/songwriters like Canada's Ken Baird, Bert Heinen (Like Wendy) from Holland or England's Guy Manning. This is not the rampaging Anekdoten onslaught, the exuberant Flower Kings epic romps or even the moody PTree daze, though these gentle tracks will recall Wilson's more ballad oriented material (without all the gloomy apathy and the IV drip haze). The structure of the songs are pretty classic, an acoustic guitar spine that highlights the lyrical material and the emotions within the vocal delivery, perhaps not proggy enough for some but totally endearing even within the first spins, as the musical honesty is so appealing in this formulaic, over branded MP3 world of ours. This one is a denser progression from Part1 with velvet slivers of misty mood that enthralls like some sonic narcotic and seduces the jaded listener into immediate attention. From the opening instrumental waltz, cleverly titled "Toxicana Apocalypso"(another- this time wordless- anti- hard drug rant), the improvement becomes immediately evident, swirling melodies deftly played by the guests with utter bravado. Tony Levin's bass looping madly, intense drumming from D'Virgilio and same raging Downes organ blasts define this lofty opener, a whirlwind of delight to follow. On the splendidly vaporous "Wayward", the illustrious Gavin Harrison pummels along with Tony (what a glorious tandem!) in a silky groove that may recall prime Roxy Music, giving Thorne the platform to shine vocally, gentle one moment and raspy the next. An amazing track that exudes class, this is a superb ride. The anthemic "Crossfire" retains a discreet sense of elegance with Geoff Downes piano providing the main setting, a turbulent tirade about fallen soldiers and wasted youth caught in the crossfire. Thorne's voice soars majestically, expressing with troubled despair the plight of a once great empire. John Mitchell blitzes mightily on lead guitar, a quixotic solo that defies description. On the perplexing "Roundabout" (not the Yes song, bubba!), the synthesized effects become intoxicating, a freefall into the swirling miasma of life where Thorne emotes courageously in a style reminiscent of Fish or even his Marillion replacement Steve Hoggarth. Very spacey and spirited. The rather nasty "Hounded" is a colossal slab of progressive folk, actually closer to Porcupine Tree, Thorne's pipes rasping ragingly at the pain of misguided love while the Spocks Beard rhythm section pounds away in revolted anger. Jadis' Gary Chandler provides a mathematic guitar solo that bridges the gap in spectacular fashion, all tone and texture, as the Rickenbacker bellows beneath. The howling choir effects are beguiling. "All the Wisemen" is another little lyrical jewel, a sardonic stab at our alleged leaders (who seem to wind up causing more damage than good), in a simple veneer enflamed by a Mitchell solo that pains convincingly as Levin's bass rumbles proudly along. Thorne shows his vocal talents here in unabashed fashion. We have a new wizard, a true star! A quirky change of pace is next , "Great Ordeal" being a mandolin-led folk ditty that is as English as one can hope for, dirt simple and unpretentious. Both "6am Your Time" and "Solace" are short instrumentals that quantify the musical qualities of the artist , a pot- pourri of sound that does not serve as filler but rather as a mood setting for the final turn, first the staggering "The White Dove Song", perhaps Steve's masterstroke up to now. A sassy/brassy piece which sounds right out of the Sgt Pepper/Magical Mystery time zone, with a smiling Peter Trewavas bass leading the charge, lush orchestrations galore (viola, violin, cello, trumpet, French horns and bass trombone) , providing the stage for a monstrous Thorne delivery (a huge chorus and devilish verse) and another organ romp from the Asia guy. Absolutely ballsy move on the arrangement and it's pulled off oh so successfully! The finale is another stunner, "Sandheads", the longest track here clocking in over 7 minutes that ultimately encompasses the genius of this "to watch closely" artist. This is where the two album theme of the 'emotional creatures' concept is explained within the lyrics and providing closure and explanation. This being a closing chapter, Thorne will be moving into different realms on the next album. Another fully orchestrated tirade on the human condition, the lyrics focus on the contradiction in the all aspects of societal life, showcasing clearly why we can be fallible yet lovely at times, a complex animal that seemingly inspires both love and hate. A thoroughly enjoyable musical adventure. The artwok is similar to part one, the production first rate all around . I look forward to future "thorny" albums from this talented gent, this man needs to be discovered by you all now! 4.5 tender mortals

Report this review (#280264)
Posted Sunday, May 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Singer/songwriter meets prog rock? Well, thatīs the impression this album gave after several spins. Not that the formula is mature: there are some tracks that are much more in the singer/songwriter vein while others are pure progressive. Anyway, itīs an interesting work and worth checking out. I was first atracted to this CD because the many famous special guests it includes, it is not everyday you see people like Nick D'Virgilio (Spockīs Beard), Geoff Downes (Asia), John Mitchell (Arena, Frost), Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel), Pete Trewavas (Marillion, Transatlantic), Gary Chandler (Jadis), Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) and Martin Orford (IQ), among others, playing on the same record, is it? But they all act here like players only, for the CD is the brainchild of Steve Thorne, songwriter.

At first I must admit that this work did not appeal much to me. It seemed too modern and superficial. However, after repeated listenings I was able to understand that there was more than meets the eye (or ear). The guy knows how to craft fine tunes and give them the necessary arrangement and instrumentation to make it more than just īsongsī. Actually, as the name points out, this is a conceptual work, the second part of his Emotional Creatures, part 1. I didnīt hear any of his previous records, but this one is quite well done and perforned. It sounds simple, but it is not. Actually the CD demands the listenerīs full atention to be fully appreciated. But it is worthwhile.

Conclusion: although I canīt say it is one of my favorite CDs, I must admit that Part Two: Emotional Creatures has its charm and so does his formula. As I said before, the mix does not always work, but heīs heading an interesting direction and Iīm looking forward to hear his next albums. I hope that he can develop from here and come up with something unique. Promising. 3 stars.

Report this review (#282267)
Posted Sunday, May 16, 2010 | Review Permalink

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