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Phil Manzanera - 6PM CD (album) cover


Phil Manzanera


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3.97 | 23 ratings

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4 stars Is Phil Manzanera incredible or what? The pioneering guitarist has a style that always searches out new tones and territories, so that when writing accessible material, the axe work would swoon in utter creativity. With such prog stalwarts as Robert Wyatt and David Gilmour as well as the inimitable Paul Thompson (arguably one of the greatest rock drummers ever), the incomparable Brian Eno and the suave Andy Mackay from the Roxy days, this recording also has Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders on "fuzzy" harmonica and backing vocals. The disc is clearly a two chapter affair, the first being a series of rock tunes that singe the outer edges of progdom, with healthy doses of originality and amazing sounds. The languid lament of "Broken Dreams", the mesmerizing sing-along with an almost U2-ish feel "Green Spikey Cactus" featuring a torrid Mackay sax blast, the bluesy "Love Devotion", the laid-back and countrified "Wish You Well" (a wink to his previous "Listen Now" album and with a fluid Bill McCormick bass solo) and the rousing "6pm" that unpretentiously show off Phil's unique style both on rhythm and his unmistakable lead contortions. "Waiting For the Sun to Shine" sounds almost like an RPWL song, progressive pop that is just too strange to be commercially viable, with loads of "Enotonic" drenching some obtuse guitar atmospherics (just like in the good old Roxy days) and sealed with a gallant Mackay sax shine. "Manzra" is a terrific instrumental ode that has a gentle lilt, highly melancholic, conjuring images of "Primitive Guitar" days and an absolute treasure track. The second chapter is subtitled "The Cissbury Ring", a multi-part suite featuring the unmistakable trumpet and drums of the legendary Robert Wyatt, offering up some whimsical Brit prog with a slight Canterbury feel, where nostalgia, humor and first-class melancholia prevail. Two brief snippets: "Porlock" is more trumpet with Phil's shimmering sonics adding some atmosphere and "Shoreline" is introduced by a superb Andy Mackay oboe, enveloped in sheets of wind-blown synths . "Always You" is a drop dead gorgeous melody, leading into the apotheosis track "Sacred Days", where the rambunctious arrangement is firmly anchored by a typical whopping David Gilmour solo guitar. Manzanera has already a reputation as a class act (Roxy Music sort of laid that in stone) and frankly really doesn't need to be doing this but his legacy has always been about being undeniably progressive. Very few guitarists today can ever lay claim to that accolade. No wonder he has so many friends and so many fans. 4 amazonas.
tszirmay | 4/5 |


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