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(40:28; Rapid Transformation Music)
TRACK LIST: 1. On the Frontier of Beauty 3:38 2. Two Katherines 3:29 3. Irradia 3:53 4. Now 3:22 5. White Bird in a Blizzard 4:08 6. There's a War in You 4:11 7. Embassy Walls 4:10 8. Water Wings 4:30 9. The Light That Blinds You 5:23 10. I Can't Stay Long 3:44 LINEUP: Id Guinness - vocals, guitars Curtis DeBray - guitars Phil Robertson - drums Jeremy Holmes - bass Steve Hilliam - saxophone Bo Peng - cello Katherine Fiedler - backing vocals Matt Gibson - backing vocals Leslie Harris - backing vocals Enrico Renz - backing vocals
Prolusion. Canadian composer and musician Id Guinness is a veteran player in his native music scene, with a career that goes back to the 1980's and with an solo career that commenced with the album "Cure for the Common Crush" in 2007, and with a total of three solo albums to his name at the time of writing. "Lost Languages" is the name of his third and most recent solo album, which was released through the label Rapid Transformation Music" in 2018.
Analysis. Id Guinness as a solo artist have never been the creator that appears to have a desire to flaunt his flamboyant sides, instead opting to create material with a generally appealing nature and with more subtle fragrances hauled in from the art rock department. At least that is what I recall from his previous solo albums, and that is what we are provided with also on this occasion. Gentle and appealing landscapes that draws the listener in is something of a specialty of his, and with acoustic or clean guitar driven foundations and the use of percussion and keyboard details he transforms his more regular pop, rock and ballad-oriented escapades into creations with a subtle but distinct otherworldly presence, with expressions like art rock and art pop coming along easy in the associations department. Many of the songs on this occasion come with a subtle flavoring of new wave or post-punk, often by way of vocal melody lines and the tone and timbre of the vocals, or in subtle details used in the keyboards department. None of these nuances are striking enough to be a defining aspect of the material, but a fleeting presence that is oh so carefully placed inside of a larger overall context. A cheeky little addition of brass details with a bit of a ska orientation can also be mentioned in this context, although in this case as a somewhat more audible presence. Otherwise I note that we have one song that appears to have a bit more of a David Bowie vibe to it. While this might be accidental, the fact that Guinness have performed at an event called Bowieball does make me suspect that this is a matter of plan on this specific occasion. I do think that the charms of this album starts ebbing out a bit towards the end on this occasion. The compositions here are all a bit of a balancing act of course, and for the final part of this album the elements used just don't manage to combine in a manner quite as appealing as in the songs we get to enjoy in the earlier part of the album. While the differences are marginal, for me at least there was still a noticeable difference.
Conclusion. Id Guinness probably isn't the artist you will have the desire to explore if the more boundary breaking progressive rock artists are the ones you have a strong emotional attachment too. But for those with a taste and affection for sophisticated pop and rock music that steps inside of the progressive rock universe, and expressions such as art pop and art rock are regarded as positive, this album might just be inside your field of interest. I do have a sneaking suspicion that some fans of David Bowie might find this album to be an appealing experience too.
Progmessor: February 2023
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