Given their talents, output, history and friendship, this album should have been a perfect pairing. But instead it's limp and bland. Granted, Jon is primarily a singer and Rick primarily a keyboard player, but both can make rich musical textures with a great deal of energy and invention. (Hear Jon's "Olias of Sunhillow" for example, or Rick's "Criminal Record".) It's surprising then to find this album so sparse: Jon sings meandering melodies while Rick noodles vaguely on a piano, mostly. Removed from the finessed arrangements that can lift Jon's twee lyrics into high musical poetry, the words seem a little silly, and - call me a dinosaur - there is precious little here to HUM!
It's odd, because both chaps have done great collaborations - take Rick's "Hummingbird" with Dave Cousins, or any Jon & Vangelis album. Indeed, they have both done better work solo! I have been half-hoping for this get-together for many years, so I'm a little sad that it has produced an album that is merely pleasant. I can't dislike it, but it sounds like neither of them was trying very hard: perhaps more would have happened if they'd been in the same room. Jon's sleeve-notes say the album was 'made with love'; I wish instead it might have been made with passion or energy or, especially, joy.
(Finishing with what seems to be a god-bothering number doesn't win my favour either, grumble grumble mutter.)