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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kaipa - Kaipa, Inget Nytt Under Solen, & Stockholm Symphonie – In their early years, the Swedish band Kaipa were a quartet playing music in the symphonic rock vein as typified by Yes or Genesis. Vocalist/Keyboardist Hans Ludin is nearly a dead ringer for a...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues