All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

89

Cairo: Say

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Keyboardist/vocalist Rob Cottingham is the founder of the highly regarded UK-based progressive rock outfit, Touchstone. Yet Cairo is a new venture with Lisa Driscoll sharing vocal duties for an album that exceeds expectations due to the largely memorable works that bridge gorgeous and wistful harmonies with the musicians' impressive technical faculties. The band's resonating soundstage is the output of interstellar mini-motifs, theatric intervals, and pummeling grooves, all executed with clarity of thought and thematic incursions that purvey a sense of urgency, occasionally tempered with dreamy escapism.

Cottingham often leads his associates through sinewy force fields, enduring melodies and knotty unison runs, as each piece stands on its own. They radiate a big sound, sparkled by the leader's polytonal keys atop the dynamic rhythms and regal choruses, merging delicate vocal refrains with hummable hooks, James Hards' stinging guitar licks and more.

The musicians come at you from all angles, whether its straight-ahead rock with Cottingham's peppery keys and prolific synth lines on "Say," or via ambient-electronic patterns with digitally treated voicings and punchy accents, tinted with prog-metal overtures during "Nothing to Prove." However, the band mixes it up with imaginative tonal shadings, vitalizing solo spots and eloquent narratives. Indeed, the magnetic qualities of this program sustain a high level of interest and delight.

Abetted by a strong commitment to harmonic phrasings, the ensemble instills warmly crafted textures that contrast the storming prog movements, along with Cottingham and Driscoll's heavenly vocal spots, glistening hues, power-packed jaunts and expanding soundscapes that zoom straight to the heart. No doubt, Say is a major milestone and a must listen for most if not all prog rock aficionados. No doubt, it's a top-shelf product that imparts a lasting impression well beyond the norm.

Track Listing: Shadows Return Prologue; Shadow’s Return; Wiped Out; Say; Nothing To Prove; Nothing To Prove Reprise; Katrina; Searching; Random Acts OF Kindness Part 1; Back From The Wilderness; Dancing the Gossamer Thread; Katrina (Breath Mix).

Personnel: Rob Cottingham: vocals, keys, programming & SFX; Rachel Hill: vocals; James Hards: electric & acoustic guitars; Paul Stoker: bass & acoustic guitars; Graham Brown: drums & percussion.

Title: Say | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Heavy Right Foot Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Say by Glenn Astarita
Read more articles
Say

Say

Heavy Right Foot Records
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read The Gravity Project CD/LP/Track Review
The Gravity Project
by Gareth Thompson
Published: October 23, 2018
Read Experiments on Human Subjects CD/LP/Track Review
Experiments on Human Subjects
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2018
Read Street Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Street Scene
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: October 23, 2018
Read In Common CD/LP/Track Review
In Common
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 23, 2018
Read Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden
by Chris May
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Remember Love CD/LP/Track Review
Remember Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 22, 2018
Read "Cubist" CD/LP/Track Review Cubist
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 3, 2018
Read "Give Us These Days" CD/LP/Track Review Give Us These Days
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 30, 2018
Read "Flyway" CD/LP/Track Review Flyway
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 18, 2018
Read "Months, Weeks and Days" CD/LP/Track Review Months, Weeks and Days
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "For 2 Akis" CD/LP/Track Review For 2 Akis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 3, 2018
Read "Journey to a New World" CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018