ARTIST:

DOWNES BRAIDE ASSOCIATION (DBA)

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

SKYSCRAPER SOULS

(2017)
LABEL:

GLASS ONYON

GENRE:

POP

/ ROCK
TAGS:
80's, Easy-Listening, Melancholic
"Downes Braide Association signs new melodies always as addictive but more melancholic than in the past."
CORTO1809 (15.01.2018)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Coming back every two years with a new album under their arm, the Downes-Braide duo, alias Downes Braide Association or DBA for the intimates, offers us for this end of year 2017 their new record, "Skycraper Souls". Whether it's a matter of confidence or a well thought-out strategy on the part of the two men to surprise the listener with each new release, the fact remains that the band grows and embellishes with each album. Simple multi-functional duo on "Pictures of You", reinforced by three guests for "Suburban Ghosts", Downes and Braide surround themselves this time with a full band (the Holy Trinity guitar/bass/drums) and a plethora of guests, some of which sound familiar (Andy Partridge, David Longdon or Tim Bowness, to mention only the most famous).

This considerable strengthening of the line-up is coupled with an evolution in the band's style. Those who appreciated DBA's sense of melody and musical hooks can rest assured that they haven't lost their touch, as "Skycraper Souls" contains a lot of pleasant music that is an immediate pleasure to listen to. Immediate because the themes are often federative, but also lasting, the profusion of players serving to bring enough diversity to the compositions not to get bored too quickly.

The evolution is more in the musical character that the duo explores here. Leaving behind the dancing pop-rock side of his predecessors on which the rhythmic had an important place, "Skycraper Souls" develops more melancholic atmospheres. To do so, the synthesizers give way to the acoustic piano whose strong presence serves as a common thread throughout the album.

Prelude' (and its alter ego 'Finale') sets the tone with a superb piano-vocal. These moments of clear emotion are echoed on the crystalline 'Glacier Girl' and the sensitive 'Skin Deep' and 'Darker Times'. But energy is not absent, as proven by the FM rock of 'Angel On Your Shoulder' resembling a good Toto, 'Lighthouse' on which Bowness' vaporous choirs contrast with the rhythmic melody or the eponymous epic, the longest track the duo has done so far, which intersperses some more atmospheric passages with mostly driving themes. Without talking about progressive despite its length of more than eighteen minutes, the track is a collection of small songs that have to be listened to without boredom.

Of course, "Skycrapers Souls" is not completely devoid of flaws. The long suite lacks emotion and surprises, the rhythm of 'Lighthouse' is a bit repetitive and a sort of 80's metal static irritates the ear on the last part of the beautiful 'Skin Deep'. But Downes Braide Association avoids any mawkishness and knows how to keep the listener's attention all along a record that, if it won't surprise anyone, is pleasant enough to listen to and to feel like pressing the player's button again once the last track ends up.


More informations on http://downesbraide.co.uk/



SIMILAR BANDS:
TALK TALK, PREFAB SPROUT, YES, ASIA


TRACK LISTING:
01. Prelude (02:14)
02. Skyscraper Souls (18:08)
03. Glacier Girl (02:39)
04. Angel on Your Shoulder (06:48)
05. Tomorrow (04:20)
06. Lighthouse (05:40)
07. Skin Deep (04:32)
08. Darker Times (07:18)
09. Finale (01:15)

LINEUP:
Andy Hodge: Basse
Ash Soan: Batterie / Percussions
Chris Braide: Chant / Claviers
Dave Colquhoun:
Geoff Downes: Claviers
Andy Partridge: Invité / Chant Et Guitare (1,3,8,9)
Barnay Ashton Bullock: Invité / Narration (2,4,6,8)
David Longdon: Invité / Chant Et Flûte (5)
Elijah Braide: Invité / Choeurs
Kate Pierson: Invité / Choeurs (2)
Marc Almond: Invité / Chant (7)
Matt Bournes Jones: Invité / Trompette (7)
Matthew Koma: Invité / Chant (4)
Sascha Braide: Invité / Choeurs
Tim Bowness: Invité / Choeurs (6)
   
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