2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
If you buy one CD this year...,
This review is from: Stand Well Back (Audio CD)
This is a truly astonishing album - on the first listen it sent shivers down my spine, and each subsequent occasion I have found more to like about it. I think the first thing that struck me was the aggression: there is no sense of restraint or inhibition, but instead a visceral, even brutal directness. And yet the album is full of contrasts, with the most delicate passages, and a willingness to hold a mood and let silences speak for themselves. The music is never sentimental, with darkness and light present in every phrase.
Other reviewers have commented on the spectacular collision of genres, and I agree, but what is fascinating to me is how fully they are fused into a single style. The ensemble playing is fabulous as well, tricky to pull off in a band with six musicians. Colin Towns keyboards are raised to a new level - the title track is a solo piano piece which digs its claws in and won't let go.
It is on one level very simple - a crack team of musicians cutting loose - but behind the immediacy and colour is some inspired composition. Towns has drawn on every tradition from contemporary classical to world music to find melodies that draw you in and convey rich and complex feelings at every turn. Truly an instant classic.