Saro Cosentino is a new artist to me although it appears, not to the impressive guest list that contribute to this album, which is a reworking of some of his most famous songs plus a new single.
Among the participants on the album are Peter Hammill, Tim Bowness, Jakko Jakszyk, and Australian recording artist Karen Eden. Drums and percussion were entrusted to Gavin Harrison. On bass can be heard John Giblin. Trey Gunn (King Crimson) on stick and David Rhodes on guitar (most known for his work alongside Peter Gabriel). Other artists perhaps less known to western audiences include Kudsi Erguner (who played with, among others, Jean-Michel Jarre) on Ney flute, the singer/ percussionist Pandit Dinesh (of Dizrhythmia and collaborations with Sakamoto) and Shankar (known for his work with Shakti, Gabriel, Bill Laswell and The Epidemics) on double violin and voice. In addition to the creation of various electronic elaboration, Saro also plays keyboards and guitar.
So what does it sound like? The original recordings were made at Peter Gabriels Real World Studios and you can hear that influence throughout the album. I also get glimpses of Talk Talk and Cappercaille. The first track up is the new single Real Life. A lovely song driven by a simple drum pattern and wonderful vocals from Karen Eden. Peter Hammill takes the vocals for the next track Phosphorescence. John Giblin plays some nice fretless bass and Gavin's drums dance around it. Days of Flaming Youth has Tim Bowness taking the lead vocal. Its another great track with a nice vibe about it. From Far Away starts with a haunting Ney Flute that introduces another nice vocal from Hammill. Bite The Bullet starts with unaccompanied vocal harmonies from Karen before a nice backbeat comes in and another good song is under way. I really like her voice and will certainly be on the lookout for other recordings she has made. Defying The Gravity follows and is sung by Jakko Jakszyk. It has more of a pop feel to it but is by no means out of place on this album. Karen is back for Behind The Glass. This is a real mood piece and the she tells the story with passion and feeling. Last up is 9.47 PM Eastern Time. This is an instrumental piece. The drone of the keyboards and guitar play effortlessly with the bass and drums. A Robert Fripp delay guitar layer finishes it off. A nice way to end this album.
The overall feel to this album is very laidback. Its an album to play late at night with the lights off and headphones on. You can't help but feel relaxed after hearing it. I will be playing this for a long time.
**** Dave Smith
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