UK-based Esoteric Recordings has compiled a treasure trove of prog rock gems from the past via top-notch remastering efforts, extensive liners, bonus tracks and / or DVDs that offer the same track list and film shorts processed in Surround Sound. Hence, an added benefit to this reissue by famed Genesis keyboard ace Tony Banks. Many consider him a stylist since he helped define Genesis' lifecycle, commencing with the late 60s, mid-70s Peter Gabriel era, through its more pop-ish sound of the 80s when drummer Phil Collins took over the lead vocal duties. Regardless, Banks' regal sound-sculpting activities spawned tales devised on wit and whimsy amid fairytale-like wanderlust and the prevalent classical influences adopted by many of his peers during the day. A Curious Feeling was released in 1979 and marks Banks' debut solo venture. But if I didn't know any better, I'd think it would be a recently produced album due to Nick Davis' extraordinary re-mix processes, including the immaculate DVD audio disc. As former Genesis concert drummer Chester Thompson keeps the train a rolling along with vocalist Kim Beacon's radiant pop-rock vocals. Otherwise, Banks' solo career fell a bit under the radar for me back in the day, yet his melding of symphonic keys and melodic overtones with intermittent sojourns into phantasmagorical dreamscapes are in full force. For example, "Lucky Me" rides atop a mid-tempo rock pulse with Beacon's contemplative vocals and the leader's dainty Moog overlays. And like much of the album, there's a mélange of endearing hooks and cascading storylines.
"Forever Morning" is constructed with textural additives and contrasting layers, framed by Banks' celestial piano solo and tuneful thematic statements. But he flips the primary melody into a climactic opus, instilling a majestic imprint that parallels that vintage Genesis soundscape. However, the keyboardist renders an expansive motif above Thompson's hefty beats on "Somebody Else's Dream," and finalizes the program with a whispery ballad, tinted with Bank's dark flute-like synth lines and Beacon's soft vocals on "In The Dark." Overall, it's a thoroughly enjoyable listen, aided by the superb re-mixes processes that breathe new life into a somewhat overlooked musical event that to a large degree could pass as a contemporary progressive rock effort.
CD - New Stereo Mix – From the Undertow; Lucky Me; The Lie; After The Lie; A
Curious Feeling; Forever Morning; You; Somebody Else’s Dream; The Waters of
Lethe; For A While; In The Dark. DVD – 5.1 Surround mixes - From the
Undertow; Lucky Me; The Lie; After The Lie; A Curious Feeling; Forever Morning;
You; Somebody Else’s Dream; The Waters of Lethe; For A While; In The Dark.
*Visual Extras (1979 Promotional Films of -- For A While and The Waters of
Kim Beacon: vocals; Chester Thompson: drums & percussion; Tony Banks:
keyboards, guitars, basses & percussion.