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Elegant Simplicity - All Life Is One CD (album) cover


Elegant Simplicity



3.77 | 11 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars The first thing one notices when studying this 2015 release is the large number of performers taking part, and the second thing is that neither of Steven's long-time collaborators, Ken Senior and Christopher Knight, have a part to play on this album (although apparently, they were involved with the original demos). It is also quite a short album, in that it is only just over forty minutes in length, although originally it was destined to be more than an hour. But although it is shorter, it is easily one of the most diverse that multi- instrumentalist Steven McCabe has released so far. Sometimes it is just him, sometimes he may have a drummer and a singer, but this time we have a whole host of guests: he hasn't even provided bass on this album, but instead has used three different bassists in Jair- Rohm Parker Wells, Damjan Kapor and Justin Bassman. Nathaniel Graham provides the drums, with David Lipari Jr on vocals, but the biggest difference to the overall sound is the use of other musicians who have been invited to take part. With William Stewart (violin), Nathan Madsen (saxophone), Allen Bruce Ray (native American flutes) and Hendrick Valera (flute) there is a far greater depth and diversity to the sound than previously apparent.

Of course, at the heart of this is still Steven's fluid guitar and deft keyboards, but this time there is more for him to play against and with. He can be belting away with great over the top axework as on "Falling To The Ground", and then Nathan demands to make an entrance and the piece is transformed. There are still heavy Camel influences, particularly with some wonderfully dated keyboard sounds combining with the great guitars. Polished, dynamic, one must wonder what is going to be next for ES. Will the next album continue in the same vein, or will it be back to more of a multi-instrumentalist style? We must wait and see, but until then I will enjoy this polished melodic progressive rock album that is a sheer joy to listen to.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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