Gift — Awake and Dreaming
(Cyclops CYCL-151, 2006, CD)
by Sean McFee, Published 2008-01-01The 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.
Related artist(s): The Gift
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more