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Casino - Casino CD (album) cover





3.62 | 82 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars One of Geoff Mann's final project sees him team up with Clive Nolan and a stellar range of musicians from other neo-prog groups in order to produce a one-off concept album. The story is essentially a sermon, getting across the basic ideas of Christianity as Mann (who was a Church of England vicar when not fronting prog bands!) understood it.

The story is put across through the use of an allegory in which the world is a great big casino, and we're all punters who are doomed to lose if we keep playing long enough - but the mysterious Stranger comes to visit and suggests that there may be a world outside the casino, which we could all enjoy if we just put down our cards and follow him. Fairly standard stuff, but the story is told with a greater degree of humour and wit than a lot of Christian rock so it doesn't come across nearly as preachy as it might have done. In fact, I'd say this album is Mann's greatest accomplishment as a frontman and a lyricist, conveying the religious ideas which were important to him in a compelling and entertaining way which is enjoyable to listen to even if (like me) you don't share his religious convictions and aren't open to being persuaded otherwise.

However, musically speaking I find the album's a little lacking. The Steve Rothery-esque presence of Arrakeen's Sylvian Gouvernaire is beneficial, but slightly underused, whilst Clive Nolan's keyboards are prominent and, unfortunately, more than a little cheesy and unoriginal. On the whole, I'd agree with psarros that the overall sound is like a mixture between the occasionally schmaltzy Shadowland and Mann-era Twelfth Night.

On the whole, I'd say this album is a fairly average neo-prog album which claws out an extra star for itself thanks to an inspired vocal and lyrical performance from Geoff Mann. As mentioned, Mann would cash in his chips with the great croupier in the sky shortly after completing this project, and whilst I wouldn't say he hit jackpot with it, I'd say if you're into his vocal style you'll find Casino a sure bet.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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