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Cirrus Bay - A Step Into Elsewhere CD (album) cover

A STEP INTO ELSEWHERE

Cirrus Bay

 

Neo-Prog

3.75 | 64 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After reading Brufordfreak´s enthusiastic review of this album (and the high ratings others gave it), I just knew I had to have it. Besides, the group has a female singer and being a sucker for anything that reminds me of Renaissance, I really like girl singing in prog music. Well, A Step Into Elsewhere is definitly an interesting and exciting CD. It´s Cirrus Bay´s second album and it was released last year. And I must say that while I´m not really that overwhelmed by it as some colleagues here are, I have to say it is still quite impressive and powerful.

The music of Cirrus Bay is a curious mix: think of Jane Relf (Renaissance, Illusion), backed by musicians highly influenced by Steve Hackett and Tony Banks, plus a jazzy rhythm section. That´s the picture I have after listening to this record. The sound is definitly progressive, a bit retro, with plenty of british folk (although they are really from the USA) and jazz bits throughout the whole CD. The main man behind all this is multi instrumentist Bill Gillham, who plays just about everything on this record, except the drums. And he does quite a great job here considering the complex themes and lush arrangements that have tons of keyboards orchestrations and fine guitar lines (both acoustic and electric). Yes is another reference in some parts. These guys really love 70´s prog!

Of course the highlight of this album is Sharra Acle´s beautiful vocals. She has a great voice and a lot of emotion and technique in her delivering. While the songwriting here is definitly not totally developed as far as I can see, it is still very strong and shows great promise. All tracks are well crafted and the overall quality of them ranges from very good to excellent with no fillers to be found anywhere. In fact, after some spins I thought this CD was very short, but at 54 minutes, it is average time for a new act. I guess the music is so captavating you just keep longing for more.

Production is top notch and the cover art is also very well done.

Conclusion: excellent addition to any prog music colletion. If you like 70´s symphonic prog musis with very good female vocals, then this is a must have. I´m really looking forward to hear their next works. Rating: somewhere between 4 and 4,5 stars. Highly recommended.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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