How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Curved Air was a pivotal progressive rock band during its launch in the late 60s and is still going strong, featuring the inimitable vocals of original member, Sonja Kristina. While not part of the current lineup of Curved Air, classically trained founding member, violinist and multi-instrumentalist Darryl Way became a guiding light and pacesetter, as Children of the Cosmos offers a modern uplift to the days of yore. Accordingly, he fuses majestic storylines and hummable melodies with electronics-centric soundscapes via capacious musical oeuvres. Way's dazzling technical gifts are in top form as many us of would anticipate, and his vocals border the pop-rock realm. In addition, the pristine audio engineering highlights his glowing and streaming violin passages, layered strings choruses, corpulent synth bass patterns and strapping backbeats.
The violinist mixes it up rather heartily on these rapidly moving pieces. In the album inserts, he states that one of his objectives was aimed at recreating "the spirit of experimentation that led to the progressive rock movement." However, with advanced digital processing techniques and equipment, the music takes on a very detailed sheen, casting a modernized product that enlivens a few manifestations from the infancy of prog rock. For instance, on "Summer of Love" he injects a trippy sitar vamp into a brisk rock groove amid synth shadings and an effervescent solo jaunt.
A female vocalist simply named Rosie, steers the ship on the up-tempo ballad "Fire with Fire," where gentle acoustic piano phrasings, deep bass, and electro-drums round out an enchanting acoustic-electric vibe. But variety is a continuum, evidenced by "An American Tale," executed with an oscillating Tangerine Dream-like ostinato and sprinkled with pop overtones and dreamy vocals. Way closes out the program with an in-depth classical opus, "Sergey." Nonetheless, its music driven with a sense of purpose, as Way hits all the sweet spots while sustaining a driving force throughout.
Track Listing: Children of the Cosmos; Spooks; The Best of Times; Nature’s Way; Summer of Love; Don’t Look Back; Fire with Fire; Lagan Love; A Winter’s Tale; A Modern Tale; An American Tale; Sergey.
Personnel: Darryl Way: all instruments; Rosie: vocals (7).