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Manning - The View From My Window CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 56 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A long time ago I had this album in my hands but I can´t really remember if I did hear it at all (probably not, see below). Fortunatly I kept it until recently, when I found Manning´s masterpieces Songs From The Bilson House and Ten. So I decided to review some of his earlier stuff and View From My window was an easy pick. And I was really surprised how good it was! Ok, like all Guy Manning´s works, it will take some time to fully appreciate all the details of his work, but once you do, you´re hooked.

The album starts with the powerful Phase (the Opening & The Widening Sky). What a great track! It grabs you by the neck by the sheer force of its melody. Everything works on this song: delightful hooks, tasteful arrangement, inspired solos (including one amazing sax and guitar duel at the end) and a very convincing vocal delivering. If this tune was released in the 70´s it would sure be a strong cadidate for a top ten classic of that era. The following tracks are not that accessible, but are good anyway, proving that sameness is not one of Manning´s features. Again they all show him using all his and his band mates talents in full for the music. The arrangements are just perfectly crafted for each song. The bluesy The Rut may drag a little, but the hipnotic riffing works very well saving the day. After the Rain reminds of very early Jethro Tull, while Blue Girl is one of the most interesting ballads, featuring some great jazz and soul overtones.

Of course the centerpiece of the CD is the 20 minute Suite: Dreams. Divided in 8 small parts, this is his most progressive work in the entire disc. And a very inspired and strong one, I should say. The melody lines are just amazing and all the musicians show their skill throughtout the entire epic. In fact it seems like something that could have been on Ten or SFTBH: Everyhting works here flawlessly, with some fantastic symphonic keyboards, orchestrations and Manning´s emotional vocals reaching a new level on the top of it. Another sure case of a song that is worth the price of the CD! I jusut keep pushing the repeat button of my CD plyer over and over when I hear it.

Conclusion: an excellent work by one of the most talented (and unfortunatly still not very well known) prog artists of our time. Definitly one CD to look for, specially if you like strong and varied songwriting, terrific players and arrangements that near perfection. Not much noodling here, just a case of everything working for the songs. Rating: 4 stars. Highly recommended.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |


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