Many people, including myself, may never have heard of Rob Gould. Recently I listened to The Broken Road, a track of the sampler New Species, vol. V issued by the British Classic Rock Society. The title track of Gould's sixth (!) solo album impressed me that much that I wanted to hear more from it. So I contacted him to ask for a copy to review. I was curious to find out whether this keyboardist, who worked with Fula and Ashtar, had more surprises in store.
It seemed that his latest solo album is the first vocal one. These vocals were principally the reason to check out The Broken Road, because the contributions of Fiona Ford on this taster were pretty amazing. Together with the impressive orchestral keyboard parts this mellow piece of music affected me right away. I wondered, of course, if the rest of the material would have the same high level as this sampler track. Well, on the one hand: yes; on the other: no. Yes, because the remaining thirteen tracks could hold my attention as well. No, because to me the sampler track is still the musical highlight of The Broken Road. However, it happens often that you prefer certain songs to others, but all the same the music sounds very enjoyable and is more or less in the vein of acts like Karda Estra, Tangerine Dream, Phillip Glass and Mike Oldfield.
The music on The Broken Road contains enough variety to remain interesting thanks to the contributions of several guest musicians like Eduardo Capella (electric guitar), Fernanda Gollo (opera voice), Jason Gilman-Hawkes (acoustic guitar), Nigel Moss (bass), Gerard MacDonald (sax), Christian Butler (guitar) and the aforementioned Fiona Ford. They all add several positive vibes to the songs. These contributions together with Rob Gould's strong keyboard playing resulted in an album that will be loved by those who enjoy a mixture of electronic music, ambient, new age, Celtic and progressive rock. Well, if you do, check out The Broken Road and the earlier work of Rob Gould.
***+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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