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5 stars Here We Have The New Guy Manning,By all means this is his best work to date!!

By Look Of The Alblum Cover,We see an House with an door.An door to nother realm,Filled with stories and dreams that we can encoprate into our lives,Learn to advance our lives spiritually.Get rid of our selfish desires,Anything is possible in dreamland !!!

1-Ships-Sometimes in life we like to sail to the corner of our minds,To find what have may been lost or redsicovred.Sometimes we burn our ships,Trying to sail our charon instead of letting charon sail us to our destination aka life our life.We need to let it takes us,To where we need to go.Lletting go desire to control everything in this life, Let it speak to us in way it was originally to be spoke to.

2)Final Chapter-If we were to die what would the last chapter say,Die to our ego let god come in.I wrote my final chapter to my life November 23rd.I said I can't live this way no more,I have to change write the final chapter to this life with no spiritual direction.Open my eyes to things that are beautiful in this lifetime,Would you want to finish your book aka your life,As someone to be remembered or someone to be pissed on at deaths grave.

3)Ordinary Day-All us have ordinary day now and then,When life dont go right.We wonder why it feels,Like there is storm cloud over our head.And we just can get out of it,It is then we ask ourselves this is happening to me for reason.So i can learn that by having ordinary day is good,So we can learn to make it better day with just one button. Intent of our attitude and motives change the day into luxorius day.

4)Bloody Holiday-This song is kind hard to grasp it has many meanings,The meaning i got from it.When will learn to give instead of recieve,Let the intent of our heart be crimson red and pure as snow..

5)Valentines Night-We all love to be loved and romanced.Valentines Night,The night Jesus took his last breath on the cross,Shot the final arrow to sin so we may be redeemed from our mistakes.Plus there is nother meaning to this song,We should learn what love truly is.Not be infatuated with what we think is love.We will have shot the arrow into the hearts of wicked, If we learn to love them for who they are.Let god take care of rest the world,We will have hit valentines night.When this does happen we will have new religion peace on earth yipee!

6)An Road Less Traveled-This song means,Many people like to live there own life.Let life lead them to where they need to go,But it doesnt work that way.You have to choose the road less travelled,By surrendering our flesh,Helping others giveing our time,and money help hungry,and homeless on street to do what golden rule says.Live life in balance,Instead of obsessing over what we do or dont have. Everything in moderation,Look at this world form the windows to our soul our eyes.

7)Another Lazy Sunday-How many us,Like to be lazy on sunday instead of doing anything.Sunday is the Sabbath day,We should do nothing for personal gain.Everyday should be Sunday The Sabbath,Learn to give equal love to everyone not hate.Only postive karma,Can kill negative karma in this world!!

8)The House On The Hill-This is song,Bout how we long to get to The House On The Hill,Point of journey is not to arrive.The house is heaven,Safe asylum away from the pressures of this world..This house exists in our dreams,And also when we die.Never give up hope,Do not rush life to get to destination.Fun part of getting ther,Is journey what you learned..How to overcome your will,To be patient endure what you have,Not what you dont!!!

Report this review (#199419)
Posted Saturday, January 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars You can almost set your watch by this man, give him just twelve months & he will have written, recorded & produced a great new album. This is a momentum he has kept going now for TEN years. A fact that becomes even more amazing when you hear how good each new album sounds. Not to mention the variety & scope contained within each release. This new CD does not break this momentum & the quantity of previous releases will give a clue to the origin of this albums title.

The first track 'Ships' is a great start to the album. With its driving rhythm & catchy hook it gets you attention straight away. This made a strong impression on me the first time I heard it. There seems to be a lot going on in this track musically & it sounds huge. An opening number on a 'grand scale' that doesn't hold back. An excellent start!

The next song 'The Final Chapter' has a very catchy keyboard start before settling down to a more laidback vocal. This gives way to a keyboard dominated instrumental before returning to the vocal melody. Although this time the vocal is not as relaxed as earlier & has a sense of urgency.

'Ordinary Day' follows & slows things down a bit, a breather if you like after the previous two.

The second track to immediately impress is 'Bloody Holiday!' which surprises me. Lyrically it showcases Guy's humour & musically it's really catchy. At first I thought this maybe a bit of a throw away track but the more I hear it the more I look forward to it coming up.

'Valentines Night' is quite reflective in mood & pace, very easy on the ear. The instrumentation is subtle but yet effective.

Next up is 'The Road Less Travelled' which starts off in an easy going song structure building gradually as it goes. For me it really kicks off at the 6min mark. That's when the instrumental section takes over & things change up a gear. Great stuff indeed & this eventually returns to the melody from which it came.

After that we get 'Another Lazy Sunday'. This is a catchy song with a punchy beat & some interesting percussion. Lyrically the subject matter is exactly what the title suggests.

Then we come to the grand end piece 'The House on The Hill'. This is a great track which wanders beautifully through different musical styles. This really shows all that is good about Manning albums. The track is divided into four parts. It starts slowly with a simple piano & voice, it then progresses into picking up the pace & adding some Tull-like flute work. We also get treated to some nice Saxophone before a very jazzy keyboard part, then onto a guitar break, then another. The flute is back in play before suddenly it all dies down to a much more sombre mood. The vocal comes back for the third & fourth parts of the song. Although the pace has slowed, the intensity has not & as with most other tracks the sound is still on its grand scale. This gives THOTH a spacious feel, something which it truly deserves & does not waste.

The production across the album is very impressive & continues the high standard where the previous 'Bilston' left off. It sounds amazing.

A note must also be made of the package for this CD. Although a jewel case release Guy has managed to create some very nice images within the booklet. All the images are thoughtfully put together to reflect the song lyrics for each track. They also cleverly incorporate the cover 'symbol' within the design giving a sense of continuity throughout.

In summary this is my tenth Manning album (as well as Guy's) & I can recommend this one without any hesitation. In fact I can recommend the other nine just as easily. The opener 'Ships' is streaming on Guy's MySpace page, give it a listen & see what you think.

Highly Recommended & a great addition to the Manning back catalogue.

Report this review (#199432)
Posted Saturday, January 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another superb album for uk songwriter Guy Manning. 10 albums in 10 years..does he sleep? Number Ten is crammed full of memorable music and lyrics covering a wide variety of styles from wildly rocky to quiet ballad, from symphonic epic to introspective piano pieces.

With the its iconic 10, Downing Street front cover which is embelished by musical instruments and a strange mystical shape (which appears again and again throughout the artwork), this album is nicely turned out.

Andy (Tangent) Tillison returns to do a great job on the production side and makes the music leap out of the speakers at you with clarity and punch

Overall a Highly Recommended addition to the large back catalog for this still relatively unknown yet prolific and talented artist!

Report this review (#200770)
Posted Tuesday, January 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Surprise, surprise....

I only know Guy Manning from THE TANGENT and it is 16 months since I their last album hit my ears and a new universe opened up for me. I purchased this album together with some other MANNING albums and forgot about it. I finally gave it a listen some days ago and....... VOW !!!

This album is an album of songs and not what I normally regard as a progressive rock album with one theme running through it. The songs are coherent, but also diverse at the same time. The album opens with the rather frisky Ships. A good opener, but nothing special. Still, it gets my attention and I eagerly awaits the second song. The Final Chapter starts almost like an Irish Jig and continues down with a very interesting melody and good references to THE TANGENT. The instrumental middle part has a lot of references to the Canterbury Scene and the likes of CARAVAN pops up before the Irish theme comes back. Excellent ! The first ballad An Ordinary Day is absolute excellent with it's moody, pastorial theme. STRAWBS is a reference here. I absolute love this song. Bloody Holiday! is a funny song with references to last year's total chaos at the British Airports. Heathrow Airport was an absolute shamble and Guy Manning describe it in a funny way. His last line is something about "next year in Margate". Margate is a beach resort just outside London and an old favorite among proggers and holiday makers. What would prog rock be without Margate ? Anyway, the song is pretty funny with some good Canterbury Scene like keyboards in the middle. Thumbs up from me and I will take his advice about staying away from English airports in the future. Guy cares about his fans !

The fifth song Valentine's Night is another lovely ballad with some introsperspective moods and pace. It is another one of my favorites here. The keyboards is very nice and the mood almost dark. Superb. The ten minutes long A Road Less Travelled starts with an Irish theme and continues down a very interesting path where the music builds up to a very interesting instrumental part. There is shades of STRAWBS and THE TANGENT all over this melody. But most of all; this is Guy Manning. And he is very good at what he is doing. This is another favorite of mine. Another Lazy Sunday is a rather catchy and fast song with a great keyboard theme. It is almost a hawk among eagles here, but still a good song. I like it although this is the weakest song on the album. Some may say it is the best song on this album. You decide. The fifteen minutes long The House On The Hill is the closing song here. It pretty much sums up the album with some excellent melodic parts. The references are the Canterbury Scene, JETHRO TULL, THE TANGENT and PENDRAGON. But most of all; Guy Manning himself. When the last tone fades out, my head is filleed with great music and I am a happier man.

This is a truly great album which in my view sits somewhere between THE TANGENT and STRAWBS. This is the first MANNING album I have heard and I not an MANNING expert by any means. But from what I hear from this album, Guy Manning is most definate an artist I need to spend time on. This album is on my heavy rotation list and Guy Manning is on my Christmas Card list.

4.5 stars

Report this review (#212998)
Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Guy Manning is severely underrated and Prog's best kept secret, not getting enough tender loving care from us fans. But he troops on like a dedicated soldier, producing quality albums, dripping with juicy folk/rock/blues adventures that have a storyline and a delivery to boot. His tenth album in 10 years proves that he is prolific as well as supremely talented. "Ships" is an infectious cavalcade with bruising organ, rippling guitar and that suave sax that cleverly permeates all his compositions. A sing-along Springsteen like chorus and a rapid pace keeps the toes tapping, as the wind breezes through the open windows of your speeding sports car. Laura Fowles blows with some Clemonsian fury, the synths crackling in the maze, the full fledged guitar solo searching and searing. Yeah, babe! "The Final Chapter" is a moodier venture, perhaps closer to classic Brit folk, loaded with flutes, fiddles and bluesy guitar fills and a light yet impassioned vocal, replete with that now famous nasal twang (a dash Ian Anderson, a slice of Dave Cousins and a tad Al Stewart) and an uncanny ability to compose songs that have meaning. The keyboard bombast adds oomph to the proceedings, clearly progressive and not some folk yawn- inducing lattice, as the instrumental sections display great technical musicianship and that gutsy spirit that must be so utterly amazing live, certainly one of his finest tunes. "An Ordinary Day" lullabies with delicate piano, the spotlight firmly on Manning's trembling voice and his deeply felt lyrics (Cousins, eat your heart out!), condemning the routines of daily life. A stunningly gorgeous melody lights the chorus up with genuine simplicity and the "candles burning bright" reflects on the dim reality of a forlorn existence. "Bloody Holiday" is a sardonic wink and humorous nod at your typical British travel experience , a take on 10CC'genial "Dreadlock Holiday" (mentioned too) with hilarious lyrics dealing with the pains of voyage, the sarcasm and self deprecation dripping with that English savvy. A superb groove section with e-piano, sax and synthesizer really gets the mood aroused. Fun, fun, fun ("Enjoy the ride?") that even hints at early Manzanera or Eno albums. "Valentine's Night" is quite surprising as Guy raises an octave and sings high- pitched with very English skill, as an organ roils into unseen musical gulfs, loaded with colossal string orchestrations that heighten the vague melancholia of a sorrowful evening once, long ago. This is Manning at his most creative, gliding self-assured in a musical terrain he is very comfortable with and its obvious. The 10 minute + "A Road Less Traveled" returns to the slight Gaelic influences that are so particular to the British Isles' musical tradition, mandolin taking the front and center stage with that magic flute , as Guy relates another one of his patented stories about war, heroes and homecomings. Timeless and unpretentious music that flows effortlessly and soothes the soul, it has a mid-section that evokes the sweaty deserts of the troubled lands of war, swirling synths and cascading guitar follies adding to the magnificence of the remembrance theme. Classy guy, Guy! "Another Lazy Sunday" slithers into raunchier expanses, featuring exotic percussives and a quirkier atmosphere that again reveals some early ENO-esque humor with more dashes of 10CC harmonies, another example of an artist enjoying his craft and not swimming in pretense and arrogance. The lazy Sunday sax delivers its sexy message once again with exhilarated verve. "The House on the Hill" is the 15 minute 4 part epic finale, flute propelled by organ (I bet that's Tillison!) that recalls the Tull extravagances with typical Manning passion and attention to detail, some Beatles-like harmonies and a sublime sax blast that exudes warm fury and intricate bravado, the following keyboard section features funky lightning fast piano and an expressive guitar solo that veers towards unconventional dissonance. Manning always surprises, not really pigeon-moldable, constantly on the vanguard of something comfortable yet elusive. I deeply enjoy my 6 albums, I need to get the missing 4 soon because I am convinced that we are in the presence of a prog giant, easily within the prolific realms of Steve Wilson, Xavier Phideaux, Andy Tillison (yeah, love him or hate him) or Roine Stolt. Excellent opus, Guy. I hope you forgive my admiration for your splendid work. 4.5 Downings
Report this review (#220472)
Posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Sometimes I just can't get the fuzz around some certain artist/release here on PA. While some bands are bashed for being copycats, others recieve positive feedbacks for "carrying an influence" or "preserving the traditions", etc. I mean every single note here screams classic JETHRO TULL, but that's alright for most reviewers. The only tracks I really liked were epics, others float between pompous AOR and average singer/songwriter stuff. This is not bad material, not at all, but these positive reviews make you expect something better, you know. I guess I won't seek further for other GUY MANNING releases, it's just not my cup of tea - enjoyable only for 2-3 spins.
Report this review (#229821)
Posted Monday, August 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
5 stars After hearing the brilliant Songs From The Bilston House, I felt the urge to go back to Guy manning´s discography and revise some concepts I had about his earlier works. However, I was also too tempted to listen to his latest CD, Ten. Considering the high quality of the previous year´s efford, I felt that Ten,. done by the same team of musicians that worked so well on Songs... (plus some guests) could be of the same caliber. Fortunatly, my intuition was right. In fact, Ten is in some ways even better than SFTBH.

First of all I´ve got say I don´t agree with another recent review at all. Although 70´s Jethro Tull is an undeniable influence on some tracks, saying JT is all over the CD is going way too far. If anyone cares to give the CD a little careful atention, he´ll find that Manning´s music here is not only a labor of love, but also a fantastic mix of different styles of music put together to come up with something that becomes of its own (after all, who is totally original? Everybody has influences!). And Guy Manning did it in a inspired and well crafted way, putting together classic rock, celtic folk, symphonic prog and jazz in a creative manner. Some moments are truly brilliant, but none is bad or even weak. All the tunes rate from very good to excellent. And on at least two ocasions, they reach a truly transcendental beauty (more aout it below)..

The arrangements are very tasteful (I really love the way he uses the late 60´s/early 70´s styled Hammond organ). Not a single note wasted here, everyone and everything work for the music. It´s one of the most balanced CDs I heard in a long time. So while I like to hear this masterpiece from start to finish, two tracks are simply too good not to be mentioned: the ethereal, poignant, Valentine´s Night (with its delicate melody and great duet vocal by Manning and Julie King, truly magnificent) and the album´s biggest moment: the 15 minute epic House On The Hill. It´s the album´s track-worth-the price-of-the-CD type. It´s full of emotion, beauty and power, building up through many shifting moods and turns, until it reaches its climax that gives goose bumps everytime I reach this point. It´s the kind of song that seems only too short and makes you want to listen to it again and again and again (yes! This album has another prog classic).

Even though Manning himself claims he hasn´t ´written my Dark Side Of The Moon yet´, it is clear that he´s heading towards the right direction to deliver it. The man is releasing some of the finest works I´ve heard these days.. My final rating: something between 4,5 to 5 stars. Highly recommended to anyone who loves good, inspired, melodic music.

Report this review (#230415)
Posted Friday, August 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Oh, in at least one thing here you're right Prog-jester, Guy Manning's voice sounds to some extent like Ian Andreson's. But I wasn't able to realize it before I saw it written here. Strange. Anyway, that doesn't matter much to me, Guy manages to sound like "himself". After all, they both are British, it's not fault of anyone to sing like somebody else. But notes, or - music ? Nope, that's different cup of tea (speaking of Britain). One thing this guy Guy always have interesting. Album covers, they always catch my attention

From frontal assault of Ships, furious song (which is also available for free download) is perfect choice for first song on album. When I first heard it, it was like shocking therapy, I realized and described this song to my girlfriend as that it: "has everything" to depths of final epic The House on the Hill. In general, this music offers wide diversity of musical experience, changing styles, incorporating one to another, blending them together and making unique sound. Indeed, G. Manning never fails.

5(+), I don't see much reason why not to give masterpiece rating, nor I see any fault here. Oh, there's something that can help you with this jungle of styles (which by the way works well together, but just in case you still wonders what to do), it's his voice. Because the more you listen to his vocal work, the less you hear Ian here. And more of Guy.

Not only you can set your clock to this release schedule, you can also set your mind on his release of great albums.

Report this review (#245036)
Posted Saturday, October 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album does not really excite me in any way, after multiple listens.

To be fair, it sits in a period where I've been hearing a lot of concept albums...Porcupine Tree's "The Incident", Phideaux's "Number Seven", The Decemberists "Hazards of Love", Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Night Castle". But I don't think that's what it is specifically about this album that makes it sound somewhat disjointed. The feeling I get from this album is one that I don't usually get when listening to prog rock, and that is of this being an album that is the sum of it's individual pieces, and no more.More than any album I have heard in a long time, this album sounds like a collection of songs.

Okay, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The songs on this album are alright. Ships is a catchy rocker, if not much more. Bloody Holiday! is a somewhat amusing song. Valentine's Night is probably the best song of the bunch, with a nice underlying layer holding the gentle song together, and my favorite vocals on the album. Another Lazy Sunday is another nice track.

None of these tracks are really so exciting that I would recommend them to anyone. Strangely, I found the longest 'epic' tracks to be rather uninteresting. They weren't particularly bad, but they weren't good enough to justify the length on the album. (On the other hand, A Road Less Travelled has a really awesome part with great strings, and if that whole song sounded that good, it would boost this albums rating by a decent amount).

Good enough to be a 3 star album, but I would say just barely.

Report this review (#249887)
Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars "Come in number ten, your time is up..."

A really strong opening and closing but the rest is a little bit nondescript.

The Good: Ships and The House on the Hill steal the show here, with the latter featuring a real cool section about seven minutes in which makes me half expect someone to pop up and announce an overview of the evenings news. Having said that An Ordinary Day, and the folky A Road Less Travelled are also quite pleasant.

The Bad: More tunelessly nasal vocals throughout, and some of the worst lyrics I have ever heard on Bloody Holiday! completes the package.

The Verdict: 2.657895... stars.

Report this review (#441084)
Posted Sunday, May 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars To my mind, Guy remains one of the UK's most under-rated prog musicians, who consistently provides great pieces of work that often get overlooked. I first came across Guy when he was a member of PO90, and of course he was also later in The Tangent (both of which also involved Andy Tillison who provides some keys and drums to this album). Years ago we sat together in his studio and discussed his music, and our mutual love of Jethro Tull. True, there are times when that particular influence comes shining through his music but it is unfair to concentrate on that element although some reviewers seem unable to look past it. Guy does at times sound like Ian Anderson, in a similar fashion to Mark Colto (Credo) sounding somewhat like Fish ? it's the way they sing, not mimicry.

This was his tenth album in ten years, released in 2009, and is full of the things that I expect from Guy ? great musicianship, a large variety of music and orchestration, well constructed and thought out lyrics and layers upon layers of instruments that make an album that is immediate yet with great depth that rewards the listener the more time they devote to it. In another time and space Guy would be a prog superstar, but as it is we just have to be grateful that he is so prolific and that he keeps delivering the goods.

Report this review (#825820)
Posted Friday, September 21, 2012 | Review Permalink

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