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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 It's 6 PM, do you know where your Phil Manzanera is?

This is Phil's second excursion into lead vocals for a solo album, five years after Vozero, and he's definitely sharpened up his vocal skills and found his style. Phil had started out doing fairly progressive solo albums, but drifted off into more commercial material, but seems to be getting back to a more progressive area. Phil says in the liner notes he was kind of reconnecting with the '60's so the music has a dominant psychedelic atmosphere to it. Unless I missed it in the liner notes, Phil is not only the lead vocalist, but the lyric writer.

A nice array of musicians have come along for the ride on this one: Paul Thompson, Brian Eno, and Andy Mackay from Roxy Music; Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders (you can always, uh pretend she's not here if you don't like that group); Robert Wyatt, from Soft Machine and Robert Wyatt; David Gilmour from that Pink band. Sorry if I've overlooked anyone else I know of or should have.

The opener Broken Dreams is a song about uhm, broken dreams. I'm not sure what the Enotonic is all about, but I think I like it.

Green Spikey Cactus. Should have had some commercial potential, but not in this and that day and age (2004). Hynde on backing vocals and harmonica. Mackay shows up for some sax action. Nice rocking little piece.

Love Devotion is a nice mellow sweet song about what, I don't know, might be a clue in the title. Phil takes on piano and keyboards in addition to guitar. You have to admire the multi talented musician. Andy M.'s oboe is a rather nice touch.

Wish You Well, sentimental, ethereal background vocals, I do believe it to be about someone departed, who is not apparent so it could apply to someone you might know. Phil's featured on acoustic, something you'd rarely hear with Roxy if at all.

6PM picks up the pace with some uncredited vocals in Espanol. Mostly instrumental, very rockin'.

Waiting For The Sun To Shine is a nice optimistic song. Phil decided to mess around some electronic drums rather than have an actual drummer. Still it's all cool. Andy sax and more Enotonic, whatever the hell that is.

The instrumental, Manza, wraps up what would have been an LP in the olden days and sets us up for what would be the second side. For all I know this album might have been released as such in a limited expensive edition, but I expect not.

The Cissbury Ring is basically a concept album side, five tracks meant to be taken in as a single unit.

Cissbury Ring is a nice intense instrumental that kicks off before Phil ads his singing. Very psychedelic and reminiscent of old times, Beatle-esque. Porlock is a nice short instrumetal interlude with Phil, Robert, and a double bassist by the name of Yarron Stavi, then the mood gets rather somber with Shoreline: "And as the sun sets, The sound of darkness, Is there evermore." Always You is about who I don't know, just another sweet song about you whoever you are. Gilmore gets in on the action for this one and hangs around to wrap up the album with Sacred Days. More homage to the late '60's. "Some things are meant to be."

One of those largely undiscovered gems that I think should appeal to many a prog fan.

Slartibartfast | 4/5 |


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