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Duncan Browne - Give Me Take You CD (album) cover


Duncan Browne


Crossover Prog

3.33 | 9 ratings

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2 stars Browne was introduced to me generally by vinylprogrock on Instagram, really a very solid source of largely obscure progressive music. I mean, just recently, as I've paid closer attention to his posts, I got a lot of really awesome suggestions (I hadn't heard of Flame Dream, for instance, until just a month ago).

Give Me, Take You opens with Classical-inflected acoustic beauty. This is my first impression, so... The guitar is soft, but the music is full. Space is filled nicely with what sounds like reeds, mostly. And he has a very nice, soft voice. The cadence and the vibe throughout rides along this line.

What exactly does "Ninepence Worth of Walking" entail? Sounds like a rip-off. But it also sounds so lovely and free (I didn't pick up on the irony of my word choice immediately). Reminds me a bit of GENESIS' "For Absent Friends", but also has a really nice lilt that feels so classic, like Paul MCCARTNEY's take on the American Songbook (if I'm even accurately representing it). So warm and homey. [I was not accurately representing it, exactly, as I believe what I was seeking to refer to was Music Hall, the proto-Vaudeville of Victorian Britain.]

Though he, in general, is referred to as "Crossover Prog" here, what you'll expect on this debut is very much Progressive Folk (and I believe that is the correct term, regardless of Folk's broad relationship to Progressive Rock itself--to be honest, this has never been made clear to me). A lot of softness, but also a lot of textures, as I basically mentioned above, that will appeal to many a Prog fan. But, because of the former hesitation, I'm being careful in my rating here. It's always difficult to judge these sort of things: how do we discern the truest meaning of the PA rating system and adjust our ratings according to our own personal tastes and expectations? This was a great example of that very struggle [See below].

Back to something I can really get behind, "On the Bombsite" (wow, what a title!) introduces (for the first time) some rock-oriented drumming (replete with 'Ringo Drag'). It's still beautiful and ultimately lighter than "Rock" may be, but fantastic, bright guitar and excellent, harmonized Folk-Poppy vocals. More appropriately, what's happening here, especially clearest with the horns in the latter section of the song, is Baroque Pop (one of my favorite genres from the Swingin' '60s). Ultimately, "The Death of Neil" strangely sounds like Christmas haha.

I'm a fan of a lot of what he's doing here and I'm excited to see what he gets into in later releases. To repeat, much of this is beautiful, but I'm unsure to what degree it will appeal to a Prog Rock collector. As I got closer and closer to the end, I did start to pick up on the comparisons that had been made, generally, to the MOODY BLUES. It is slight. And it is in tone, mostly.

It pains me to say it, to admit it, but a True Rate of 2.5/5.0.

DangHeck | 2/5 |


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