Guitarist/ keyboards player/ composer Steven McCabe and co have released their first vocal album for ages, and this is one of Elegant Simplicity’s best, if not their best. It’s a prime example of melodic progressive rock with broad appeal in its shorter numbers such as the catchy ‘Telling Tales’, but the crowning glory is the 18 minute ‘Reflections’, which includes what Steven describes as some “odd” bits (I know what he means, but it all makes perfect sense to me), up-tempo grooves and “a killer chorus with mellotrons and chorus” (That’s better - no self-deprecation here!)
Tomas Baptista does a fine job on vocals, and you can tell that the band is really ‘into’ this music, which has been gestating between 2016 and its release today, with excellent performances by drummer Maurizio Antonio and bassist Hector Ruano. Special mention must also go to Iona McQueen’s backing vocals and the guest flute, sax and violin.
I’ve now got a lot of catching up to do as the last one I remember hearing was “Architect of Light” in 2014 with me old mate Ken Senior on vocals. Two other things: I totally agree with Steven’s statement on around the 40-minute mark as being the ideal length for an album; and it’s available on cassette! Isn’t ‘retro’ just great?