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Alan Reed - First In A Field Of One CD (album) cover


Alan Reed


Crossover Prog

3.60 | 38 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars He began again. And what a beginning!

Alan Reed is best known for fronting the classic Neo-Prog band Pallas for many years and also working with Abel Ganz. First In A Field Of One is Reed's first full-length venture out on his own. And it is a surprisingly successful one. In addition to providing his very own distinctive voice, Reed also plays electric and acoustic guitars, bass and some other instruments. The keyboards are handled by another ex-Pallas member in Mike Stobbie, and the drums are played by Scott Higham (who recently reinvigorated Pendragon). A few additional guests are credited including Christina Booth of Magenta fame, who provides some backing vocals. This line-up is thus a kind of minor "super group".

The album starts on a very strong note with the stirring Begin Again. The song indeed reeks of a new beginning for Reed after he was so rudely dismissed from Pallas (what a mistake they made!). Within the first 20 seconds of the song we already get to hear acoustic guitar, piano, bass, organ, synthesizers, and bagpipes (uncredited). Then Reed enters with a strong vocal melody rooted in Folk and Neo-Prog. The folky feel lasts throughout most of the album which relies on a strong acoustic base, with lead guitars and keyboards playing on top. In contrast to the often dark and hard-edged music of Pallas, First In A Field Of One is sometimes rather bright and uplifting, and more organic. But full of substance.

Reed is an excellent vocalist with a unique voice, and this might be his strongest vocal performance yet. He sounds passionate and inspired throughout. The first five songs are all of a very high standard. Unfortunately, the quality drops somewhat towards end with the closer The Usual Suspects being something of a real stinker. But this sole embarrassment is not enough to taint an otherwise very strong album.

Highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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