Han Uil is a rather known Dutch singer-songwriter and ex-front man of progressive rock band Antares and current member of Seven Day Hunt. In 2010 he recorded his second solo album with the help of his musical friends: guitarist Aldo Adema and keyboardist Jaap Mulder both from Seven Days Hunt and ex-Egdon Heath, saxophonist Eric Healy and singer Carola Magermans. In 2006 he released his first solo album Alone that contained a blend of progressive rock, blues and singer-songwriter songs, but that wasn't a commercial success.
Dark In Light contains eleven songs. The album opens with the short instrumental symphonic piece War Of Thoughts. The guitar is played in the vein of Mike Oldfield and Andy Latimer. The other songs include many surprising twists of modern prog rock: sometimes powerful and aggressive, but also bluesy or even dark and heavy passages. I found none of the songs disappointing, but I have to warn our readers. Don't expect easy or standard prog songs, since Mr. Uil is always balancing on the edge with his intelligent and unpredictable songs. A fine example is The Same Old Endless Story. This piece filled with electronics and beeps also has a bluesy guitar lick in the middle-section. In A Song For The Soldier the lyrical talents of Han Uil become clear and together with Carola Magermans on vocals and Eric Healy on saxophone this song is one of the highlights of the album. I've Waited Too Long is rather jazzy with some prog rock elements while the title track reminded me a bit of the songs of On The Island, the latest album by David Gilmour. Memento is a nice track for head bangers: pure progressive rock with dark and heavy elements while I Love You Still is more a ballad in the vein of Fish. It sounds mostly nice and friendly, but also contains some aggressive and even sarcastic parts. Getting Up and The Great Descent are two experimental dance songs. The album ends with another - almost instrumental - symphonic song Love Can Be Found. In this piece flashy synths in the vein of Keith Emerson dominate.
My final conclusion: with Dark In Light Han Uil recorded an album with a great variety of musical styles. Yes, this man surely is very talented.
***+ Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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