Ray Wilson is for most progressive rock aficionados a well-known name. I dare to say that a singer who formerly replaced Phil Collins in Genesis is almost worldwide known. However, not so many people know that he has a fantastic guitarist in his band while performing the Genesis Classic concerts. His name is Ali Ferguson, a Scottish multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter from Edinburgh. In 2011 Ferguson released his first solo album The Windmills And The Stars, an album that I'm unfamiliar with. In January 2016 he released his second album A Sequence Of Moments after an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. This time I had the chance to listen to this record since he was kind enough to send me a copy to review.
If you don't like Endless River (2014, see review) by Pink Floyd or Rattle That Lock (2015) by David Gilmour, but you are a true-blue fan of both acts then A Sequence Of Moments is an album you have to listen to. That is what I can say of Ferguson's album in a nutshell. However, I guess it isn't just that simple. When you listen to this rather long album that exceeds seventy minutes, you will certainly here more musical styles and other influences. But his Gilmour-like playing is the main reason to compare these nine great compositions to both Pink Floyd and Gilmour.
Right from the start and while listening to the opening tune Why Are We Whispering? you can hear that Mr. Ferguson used to play in a Pink Floyd tribute band. A great atmospheric, almost ambient intro is followed by those typical Gilmour guitar sounds. It resembles Shine On You Crazy Diamond from the Wish You Were Here (1975) album; really beautiful. Soon after that the tempo increases moving towards a style you can hear on Echoes from the album Meddle (1971). I'm not going to mention all tracks, because I think that isn't needed to explain how wonderful the compositions on A Sequence Of Moments are.
The level of musicianship and the compositions remain very high throughout the album. The sometimes laid back tracks are very melodic which demonstrate his love for ambient music many times. Due to the many sound effects and soundscapes the songs seem to be part of a story. However, if you listen to this excellent album you have to find out for yourself whether this is true or not. Next to the wonderful voice, the programming, the keyboard and guitar parts of Ali Ferguson you'll hear several guest musicians on backing vocals, keyboards, bass and spoken words. Together they have achieved an outstanding album.
As I already stated above, A Sequence Of Moments will be highly appreciated by people who love the music of Pink Floyd and David Gilmour. Especially if you like great ambient musical passages, this album should be in your collection!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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