Exposé Online banner

Geoffrey Downes / Christopher Braide — Skyscraper Souls
(Magical Thinker X2XCD 003, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-04-03

Skyscraper Souls Cover art

I heard the previous DBA album, Suburban Ghosts, a couple years ago, and honestly didn’t like it that much, so I approached Skyscraper Souls with low expectations. To my surprise, I found myself enjoying it nearly from the start. It’s the kind of heavily orchestrated music that often annoys me, with layers of keyboards so thick that it’s often just overwhelming — a kind of sound that’s often used to cover up (or overcompensate for) a lack of real ideas. But in this case, most of the time, the writing is good enough that I get sucked in. There are a few things I could do without, such as the narration in parts of the title track, but Chris Braide’s voice is quite pleasant and expressive, presenting lyrics that are sincere if not profound (not that profundity is at all required in lyrics). Geoff Downes lays it on thick with the keyboards, with lots of piano and big slabs of string sounds. At its best, Skyscraper Souls is a solid example of slightly proggish 80s pop-rock heavy on the keyboards; at its worst, it’s like Asia outtakes with a more melodic singer. I know there are a lot of prog fans who favor the melodic side of the genre, and for them, DBA should hit near the mark. And if you’re like me, and generally lean towards the more avant side of prog, there still might be enough going on to make it a winner.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Tim Bowness, Geoff Downes, Downes Braide Association (DBA)

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Paga Group - Gnosis – Paga today is: Bernard Paganotti, former monster-zeuhl bassist with Magma and Weidorje, Klaus Blasquiz, former Magma lead vocalist on all their best albums, Bertrand Lajudie on keyboards, and new...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues