"To Watch The Storms" album review by Phil
This is definitely a record with something for everyone. The album opens with Strutton Ground where we are taken around the world courtesy of Steve's lyrical memories and pleasant acoustic guitar. Swirling organ gives a progressive feel to Circus Of Becoming and includes some neat guitar.
A bit of an oddity follows with The Devil Is An Englishman written by Thomas Dolby and given a distinctive quirky rendition here. Steve's fondness for Jazz is highlighted with his Frozen Statues, which makes was for some smart guitar hooks that introduce Mechanical Bride which becomes more frenzied as it progresses in what Steve admits is a protest song and he obviously got a few things off his chest with this one!
Wind, Sand & Stars is one of my personal favourites; a beautifully crafted instrumental with some lovely Spanish guitar eventually overdubbed with luscious keyboards. Brand New is one of the standout tracks on the album thanks to an infectious chorus, backed by some excellent lead and acoustic guitar work. Another one of those songs that Steve has a knack of writing that I find myself humming all day.
This World;a story of lost love; well written with a brilliant lead guitar and vocal outro. Rebecca is a nice lyrical interpretation of the story by Daphne DuMaurier with some great vocals and a strong instrumental melody. Silk Road, as its title implies shows off its Far Eastern influences; and includes some great percussion from Gary O'Toole. There is certainly a World Music feel to this album as next up is Come Away with its distinctive Eastern European Folk feel.
The Moon Under Water is short and definitely sweet. An exquisite acoustic guitar piece, which leads us nicely into Serpentine Song, dedicated to Steve's father, and a real family affair with brother John contributing some lovely flute.
Over all, a return to form for Steve, with this diverse collection of songs and well supported by a group of great musicians - well done!!!