17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Promenade (Audio CD)
Promenade is one of the best albums ever made. I'm not just saying that because I'm a fan, or because I'm trying to get you to buy this from Amazon. It is one of the best albums ever made. Ever.
A beautiful story of two lovers walking along a seaside promenade during their courtship, the album covers many of the feelings and thoughts they pass along the way. Neil's concept album, then, could perhaps be used to describe it, except such a phrase brings to mind eternal rubbish from prog-rock dinosaurs Yes, or some similar clapped-out Seventies band. Nothing like that here. This is a gorgoeus, romantic album, and romantic in both senses of the word - at times it feels like you're living in the late 1700s, there's so much art herein.
Tracks such as "Going Downhill Fast" and "A Drinking Song" will have you singing along to the wonderful lyrics after only one or two listenings; "Don't Look Down" concludes with a one minute plus non-preachy spoken discourse on the nature of God, which, after about sixteen listenings of the album within 48 hours of buying it, I can now quote from start to finish; "When the Lights Go Out All Over London" will have you wanting to watch French film, "The Booklovers" will leave you wanting to read books, and "A Seafood Song" will have you running out to buy prawns.
Hannon's vocal is impressive, reaching its best on "Ten Seconds to Midnight" and "Tonight We Fly", the final tracks; the latter of these being recognised as one of the best things this band has ever done. As I think someone has said, it concludes with "this life is the best we've ever had", proving that the album and its production was a cathartic experience for its velvet-voiced progenitor.
You'll not find many better albums. Don't buy it if you are only interested in banging drumbeats and pointless lyrics, buy it if you love art and poetry; and even if you don't, you will after you've heard this.