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The Reasoning

Crossover Prog

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The Reasoning Acoustically Speaking album cover
3.76 | 29 ratings | 2 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Thirteenth Hour (5.18)
2. In The Future (4.45)
3. Script Switch Trigger (5.56)
4. Aching Hunger (7.08)
5. Dark Angel (5.21)
6. The Nobody Effect (4.38)
7. Sacred Shape (5.05)
8. Within Cold Glass (3.09)
9. A Musing Dream (6.32)

Total Time 47:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Rachel Jones / vocals, percussion
- Maria Owen / backing vocals
- Dylan Thompson / acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals
- Owain Roberts / acoustic guitar
- Tony Turrel / piano, Hammond, Fender Rhodes, programming, backing vocals
- Matthew Cohen / bass, mandolin, producer
- Jake Bradford-Sharp / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Dylan Thompson

CD Comet Music ‎- CM050610 (2010, UK)

Thanks to theo verstrael for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THE REASONING Acoustically Speaking ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE REASONING Acoustically Speaking reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog Sothoth
4 stars Acoustically Speaking does the expected; it transforms The Reasoning's material into a more earthy, folk-rock sound. It also does the unexpected, which is to create a richer atmosphere for the songs and actually improve some of them from their initial incarnations. Without the neo-prog meets corset metal embellishments, the melodies and basic rhythm structures of the music has to stand alone, and it works. Why? Because the songs are memorable, catchy and quite often gorgeous.

My prior familiarity with the band was solely with Dark Angel, thus hearing that album's title track as well as A Musing Dream and In The Future with new instrumentation was almost a revelation. The songs seem to flow better here and have a richer sound and added warmth. These versions aren't completely stripped down versions of the originals, since the overall sound of this album is as lush and full as ever. There's drums, bass, guitars and keyboards with some sweet surprises such as that fantastic smooth trumpet solo during The Thirteenth Hour, but don't expect wailing guitar leads, double-bass drum pedaling or crunchy guitar riff chugging. The guitars are never distorted, giving the album a breezy vibe, yet the songs are busy enough to never get even remotely tiresome.

The dual vocal approach here is another highlight. We're not dealing with technically astounding vocalists, but the male and female dynamic is a rare treat in that it doesn't sound like a corny duet, a dialogue-based "story" approach, or a situation where one vocalist completely outshines the other. Both main vocalists sing well and compliment each other perfectly and when they trade off verses or sections it feels like a natural progression as opposed to a jarring change of dynamics. The last half of A Musing Dream is a fine example of how this approach to singing can create something beautiful.

It's tricky to rate an album like this for this site. These versions of the songs are perhaps less proggy than their original versions by simplifying the song structures and some of the instrumentation for the purposes of gaining atmosphere. Yet the songs themselves retain plenty of creative elements and actually have more character and uniqueness in this format than a lot of modern prog offerings I've been hearing. I'm not a softy music-listening-wise (I can enjoy stuff like Portal and some Portal for your mother in a car someday), but I prefer this album to their heavier-based material. Excellent stuff.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars As much as I've always liked The Reasoning and purchased all of their releases to date, I often find this UK crossover-prog band to be a case of conflicting personalities! Their music frequently has a somewhat uncomfortable balance between heavier rock and far too pretty delicate female vocals that seem oddly out of place. Even on their `Live at High Voltage' DVD, there's a humorous interview with some of the band members considering themselves a metal band, the others saying they're a prog band, and this kind of confusion is evident in most of their work. But then comes this acoustic release `Acoustically Speaking' to keep us guessing some more! One thing there's no confusion about, though - it's their best album so far.

Covering tracks from their previous studio albums and giving them an acoustic makeover, mostly based around guitar, piano and light drumming/percussion, these new interpretations make the pieces sound better than they ever have before. The acoustic format gives their music a more forlorn, mournful and melancholic tone that is sometimes lost in the bluster and hard-rocking noise of their other studio albums, and it allows you to truly focus on the words in these dreamy, reflective and atmospheric reinterpretations.

Both Rachel Cohen and Dylan Thompson have always had two very distinctive voices that strangely blend well together, with a lot of character and lived-in qualities that make you listen to their every note. There's many little moments on this album where their vocals are very touching and wrap around each-other to exquisite results, and Tony Turrell's ghostly electric piano has many standout moments as well. Any listeners who appreciate a well written collection of progressive influenced acoustic ballads should enjoy this work immensely. Fans of Rachel's from the early Karnataka albums like `The Storm' may also appreciate the softer music presented here.

There's a few highlights to especially mention. One of my favourite Reasoning songs `The Thirteenth Hour' kicks off the album, and this confident folk/acoustic rock interpretation has quickly become not only my preferred version, but one of my favourite tracks from the band overall. `Script Switch Trigger' is a particularly sad reading, while the middle takes on a beautiful dreamy ambience. Darren gives an aching and very human delivery on `Sacred Shape', I especially love when he joins in with Rachel during the second half, and it's one track here that works especially well due to the slight rearranging and tweaking of the vocal melody. `Within Cold Glass' takes on a surprising reggae style, but it still sounds perfectly appropriate here. `A Musing Dream' creates a successful mix of light and shade, with some tip-toeing ghostly electric piano that raises the tension nicely and creates an air of mystery and drama, yet it comes back around for an uplifting and grand finale.

With a lovely and restrained front cover (would have looked very striking on vinyl, as would all their albums - take the hint, band members!), `Acoustically Speaking' stands as a perfectly fine work on it's own, and is certainly not some mere lazy rehash of past work by the band. It would also serve as a fine introduction to the band by newcomers, who would surely be impressed by the quality of the writing and performing here. Those wanting their usual mix of heavy rock and prog should look elsewhere in their discography, but this one makes for a fine soundtrack to a quiet night in or a pleasant evening drive. To these ears, it's the best and most consistent work this great band have released to date.

Four stars.

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