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(47:40; White Knight Records)
When fans talk about Genesis, they tend to fall into one of two camps, either those who prefer Gabriel as singer, or those who prefer Collins. I have always thought they are missing the trick, as my favourite period is that which features Steve Hackett, and this album fits in nicely with the end of his time with Genesis and his early solo works. Multi-instrumentalist Pete Jones has been spending most of the year providing vocals, keyboards and saxophone with the might Camel, but somehow he has also found time to write and record a new batch of songs which are often whimsical, even humorous, yet also an absolute delight from start to end. After the reaction to ‘The Depths of Winter’ Pete decided to return to the 'Story Tellers' concept of composing songs based on stories some of his favourite childhood authors, this time including Hans Christian Andersen and A.A. Milne. As well as providing all instrumentation and vocals, he decided this time to sing some duets with his long-term singing partner Emma Friend, which certainly adds an additional element of quality to what is already a stunning album, and her performance on the ballad “Eternity” is quite superb. Back in the day, it wasn’t unusual for prog bands to record something light hearted and silly, from “Benny The Bouncer” to “The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles”. All I can say about “Three Little Pigs” is that I love the Python-esque approach, especially the false starts to the song. I’ve played it multiple times, and each and every time I find myself smiling. I have a funny feeling this album is going to end up in my Top Ten for the year….stunning.
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