Many times when an act releases an album with a collection of songs recorded throughout their career that didn't appear on their regular album releases, they turn out to be just fillers or songs which were not finished and left out. Fans of those acts just buy those albums to be complete but hardly play them anymore because they just give less musical pleasure. But sometimes an album of those songs is released which turns out a real treat. Singled Out released by Drifting Sun is such an album. I will tell you why.
Twelve songs are there for your musical pleasure. They are described as a selection of the 'B' sides of all their singles since 2015, plus a few more goodies thrown in for good measure!
Most of them are performed on the piano by band leader Pat Sanders and have musical contributions by the other performers. The album opens with Silent In Shame. It's one of the tracks which was originally released as a single. Silent In Shame was originally released in 2015 on the Lady Night EP. It's a beautiful piano ballad with Peter Falconer on lead and backing vocals. Next is the short instrumental mellow piece Emphasis (For Sienna Joy). It was a bonus track on Safe Asylum (2016, see review). Dan Storey shines here on the electric guitar next to the fine piano parts played by Sanders. Followed by Vagabond which was the other bonus track on that release. Again, a rather mellow instrumental piece of music with beautiful solos from Sanders on the synths (reminding me of Rick Wakeman) and Storey on the electric guitar. Both bonus tracks also appear on the EP Alice released in 2015.
Lost Knight is next and has beautiful folk parts in combination with the strong vocals of Falconer. Sanders and Storey again throw in some excellent instrumental parts on this more up-tempo track which was originally released in 2016 on The Hidden Truth EP. Eternal Cycle is next and is again more mellow. This fine slow piece of music was a single originally released in 2017. It features the French musician Mathieu Spaeter on guitars. His guitar parts are just amazing! It is followed by Atlantis. A track taken from the Remedy EP released in 2018. Again, a very mellow song. Also, the next one Bubble is mellow and a beautiful piano piece. It was originally released in 2015 as part of the Piano Works EP. Next up is A Year In Black. Again, a beautiful piano ballad. Originally released in 2016 as a single. The Blond Ghost was previously unreleased and can be seen as a very short instrumental entirely performed by Pat on the synthesizers. A cool song bringing an electro-dancing tempo carried by synths rather reminiscent of the new wave of the eighties!
The longest track of all is next and has the title Cascading Tears. During the 10 minutes of music you can hear a typical Drifting Sun composition with sublime vocals, guitars and keyboards. It was released in December 2018 and features the vocals of Peter Falconer. The guitars are handled by Mathieu Spaeter. Of course,the keyboards are played by Pat Sanders. Finally, the rhythm section is completed with Manu Michael on bass and Will Jones on drums. Next is Last Supper, whose final version was on Trip The Life Fantastic released in 2015. It is presented here in a much more rock version and has John Spearman on guitars, Andrew Lynn on bass and Olivier Aslan on drums. Sanders shines on this instrumental by playing some beautiful Mellotron parts. The final track Closure is a short beautiful instrumental performed again on the piano. It was a bonus track on the earlier mentioned Trip The Life Fantastic.
All in all, is this a wonderful collection of songs of which many are unknown for most lovers of progressive rock music. Also, for me are they songs I had never heard before and enjoyed so much. Therefore,I highly recommend Singled Out to those who like to hear a great progressive rock tune. Most of al,l if you like great piano pieces as much as I do myself. So, thumbs up for a compilation release which is not just an album of mediocre fillers but loaded with amazing progressive rock tracks! Enjoy it as much as I did!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Dave Smith)
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