A year ago Background Magazine introduced the new British progressive rock duo Vivid Glimpse to our readers. We then published a review of their debut album Into The Precipice (see review). This duo has been formed in 2009 by the brothers Andy Vellacott (vocals, drums, bass) and Richard Vellacott (keyboards, guitars, backing vocals). They already had a passion for rock and prog rock in their childhood listening to bands as Genesis and Yes. In the meantime they had built their own studio in which they wrote and recorded their own compositions. These compositions were strongly related to the music of the bands they liked. Being brothers they both have the same preferences for music so it was easy for them to create some wonderful music together. Therefore it's not really surprising that they released their second album Looking From The Outside In only a year after their debut.
On this new album the same influences can be heard as on the debut. These influences are mostly related to Genesis, Phil Collins and Mike & The Mechanics. However, the duo's poppy side, which was clearly noticeable on their first release, is now less present. The music of the Vellacott brothers has matured; the songs are much stronger and longer than on the first album. A good example is the three-part opening track In The Frame. It starts as a kind of modern version of Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. As the song continues the sound of the Genesis eighties era can be recognized. This song could have been taken from an album like Duke (1980) or Abacab (1981). You can hear the same influences on Lost In Time and Skyhigh. The first one has a strong relation with the track Dodo from Abacab. It's nice to hear how they used a reggae rhythm in a progressive rock tune. The album also contains some gentler moments with ballads as Don't Leave Me Alone Tonight and And So It Ends. The intro of the last one sounds quite similar to a track of Phil Collins. Take Me Home has the same kind of drum pattern as on the final piece of this second album. However, you can also say this song could again have been taken from Duke or Abacab. Unfortunately the outstanding guitar solo in this piece is much too short. The title track has also some references to Genesis. The drums for instance are very much in the vein of the sound on Mama. On Island In The Sky I recognized a band as Final Conflict, but probably Vivid Glimpse have never heard of this band. I think it's just a coincidence that they used the same kind of mechanical and metallic sound as Final Conflict did on Stand Up.
As far as the music and the compositions are concerned everything is perfectly recorded, aside from the vocals. The quality of singing is all right, but after a while the vocals tend to sound alike. Therefore I would like to advise Vivid Glimpse to invite a good lead singer for the third release. It certainly would lift the music to an even higher level than it already has. And for the rest: thumbs up for this excellent sounding album. It's highly recommended to people who enjoy the music that Genesis and Phil Collins recorded in the eighties!
****- Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013