Exposé Online banner

Gift — Awake and Dreaming
(Cyclops CYCL-151, 2006, CD)

by Sean McFee, Published 2008-01-01

Awake and Dreaming Cover artThe Gift are a fairly new British group targeting the more accessible side of the progressive spectrum. They have lots of analog keys and such, although many songs are just a singer and an acoustic guitar. The album is basically a song-based concept album that would go over big with the ROSfest gang. The rockier numbers remind me a bit of early Echolyn at times, maybe mostly because the vocalist can sound a bit like Ray Weston. It seems to be an anti-war concept. This kind of thing has real potential to become a melodramatic mess but the songwriting here is good and fairly understated and I don't find it too cheesy. One interesting bit in "Escalation" where he sings an anti-war line to the melody of the final couplet in the American national anthem. Solos and the like are pretty rare on this album, but based on the strong keyboard solo in "La Lune de Miel" I would conclude this was by choice, and that the band is playing to the concept instead of proving their chops. I haven't seen much of a splash for these guys yet, but if they keep at it I think they are going to make one fairly soon.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): The Gift

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kenso - Kenso's Guide to Making Progressive Rock Music – Well, in all my years or reviewing things, this is really a first. The 2DVD set is part performances, part music theory lectures, part insights, and part interviews; this is basically the members of...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues