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Grey Lady Down - The Crime CD (album) cover

THE CRIME

Grey Lady Down

 

Neo-Prog

3.33 | 57 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Neo-prog genre delivers sometimes good surprises. "Grey Lady Down" or "GLD" from the next five reviews dedicated to their discography (entire of course) is one of them.

I like the voice of their lead singer very much. No attempt to sound like anybody else. Martin Wilson sings like Martin Wilson. Period. He has a real smooth voice. Extremely melodic and passionate. No shouts here. As for the music. Don't look for the utmost complexity; this is next door. "GLD" music is very accessible, simply structured and offers marvelous melodies (and you might know that I like this quite a bunch). Of course, their music has a flavour of "déjà vu" and it might hurt some of you : lack of originality would you say. OK, I'll take it like that.

Nonetheless, the compositions are very nice to listened to. The most obvious source of inspiration is "Marillion" (the genuine one of course) as well as "Genesis" which is rather usual in this genre. If you have any doubt, get an ear at "Thrill Of It All". A brilliant and poppy song, full of great synthesizers and as usual, a fantastic work from Martin. But I'll come back several times on this aspect during my "GLD" reviews. His voice is really a pleasure to listen to.

The core of the album is their suite "The Crime". Two parts on this album and a third one on a later one ("Fear" in 1997). We'll get the whole on their live album "The Times Of Our Live". "Part I" opens on a truely "Genesis" -oriented synthesizer sequence. Very pleasant. It's almost as if Tony is playing with them ("In The Cage"). I already have expressed my feeling about some of these bands. There are some that I like very much (like "GLD", "Neuschwanstein, "The Watch", "Chaneton"...) and others that aren't really great to my ears ("Citizen Cain", "Puppet Show"...).

This is an effective song, one with feeling : strong beat, passionate vocals, beautiful melody. "Part 1 - Ballad Of Billy Grey" is a highlight. A condensed kaleidoscope of the neo-prog genre. But it is truely symphonic at times as well. Almost twelve minutes of pure pleasure.

Twelve minutes : that's the lenght of "Part 2 - The Fugitive". The intro (three minutes) is a bit harder and more guitar oriented this time (somewhat more "Arena" like). Backing band is very powerful (I like the drumming very much). When Martin enters the scene, it becomes all subtlety and lightness. The mood is completely different. Almost symphonic again. Keys are taking back the major role. This band sounds really fantastic, emotive. This "Part II" is again a highlight of this very good album so far. It is the closing number but when I prefer to listen to these two parts in a row. I don't like those splits usually.

"Circus" like the opening number "12:02" is a straight-forward song. But these vocals again are adding value and make "GLD" a band apart IMO. The emotion is always present. This is just beautiful music. I made this comment a lot during my "Pendragon" reviews. But the music here is much more keyboards influenced while Pendragon is more depending on Nick Barrett's guitar.

"Annabel" is a good rocking song. A bit heavier probably. It is the weakest song of this album which I will rate with four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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