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Geoffrey Downes - Geoffrey Downes & New Dance Orchestra: The World Service CD (album) cover


Geoffrey Downes


Crossover Prog

3.00 | 3 ratings

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3 stars From Moscow to London via Xanado

The World Service was the third album that Geoff Downes released under the New Dance Orchestra name tagged on to his own name. This album would have been a much more fitting follow-up to his first solo outing The Light Program than the stylistically rather different Vox Humana that came in between. Indeed, despite the fact that the present album appeared more than a decade after the 1986 debut, these two albums have many things in common. Like The Light Program before it, The World Service is an all instrumental affair and the music is entirely driven by Downes' keyboards. This 1999 album is however somewhat more reserved and less assertive musically than the first New Dance Orchestra album. There is a slightly more clear concept behind the music which is inspired by the BBC World Service - the world's largest international broadcaster. The many short tracks are named after cities and places around the globe. For the most part the separate parts meld together and feel like sections of a longer musical journey around the world.

The music has a somewhat laid back nature but it is by no means music for pure relaxation, and neither is it music for dancing (as the "New Dance Orchestra" name misleadingly indicates). Comparisons to Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre, or even Mike Oldfield (though without guitars) suggest themselves. I find this music pleasant and enjoyable and it is as good as or better than many albums of its kind, but it doesn't excite me as much as did The Light Program. Still, The World Service it is a worthy companion to The Light Program and is recommended for those who liked that album.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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