Exposé Online banner

Mickey Simmonds — The Shape of Rain
(Cymbeline 5075-2, 1996, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1997-02-01

The Shape of Rain Cover art

Mickey Simmonds' debut as a solo artist presents a well-traveled craftsman in do-it-yourself mode. I'm not certain if this is due in part to his inability to supply material for a group project (i.e. Camel) or another solo artist (i.e. Fish or Mike Oldfield), but the results are favorable and seem to improve upon repeated listenings. The subject matter appears to be based on a young woman's personal trials and tribulations (somewhat similar in context to Marillion's Brave, though not as tragic). Mickey has created ten tracks under 50 minutes that I think fit in extremely well with the context of the most recent Camel album, Harbour of Tears. In fact, when comparing the two, Shape seems to be on a parallel thread and at times more satisfying. Mickey plays all instruments with smooth dexterity, and several keyboard settings simulate Latimer-like lead guitar moans. The disc is a mature, subtle statement that starts and ends with a sensitive rain storm and generates a quiet, warm imagery throughout. It's important to note that this is not a flashy synthesizer workout opportunity for a talented keyboardist — one can detect a thoughtful process for song development and themes. Unknown Martin Sunley contributes vocals on five songs, while storytelling lyrics are provided by the mysterious Prophet. The disc is pricy as a Japanese import but worth it.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Mickey Simmonds

Latest news

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

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Whitechapel - Le Masque d'Arlequin – Yes, it's a French band that sings about a jester. To be honest, it's probably just the title track that's about the jester or harlequin in question, but it also has a jester's face on the cover. With...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues