I've gone CD crazy lately - not only is my second CD The Man Inside available now - (see link for price and ordering details) (see how clever that bit of marketing was eh?) but I've bought a bunch recent. Here is first of a two part review of these purchases.
Newton Faulkner - Write it on you Skin
Mr Faulkner's third effort and a very good one. He of the huge grin, long dreadlocks and acoustic singer/songwriter skills. He has got his own sound/sound down pat now, more than once I thought as an intro hit me for the first time "I would know that is Newton anywhere". This maybe isn't as strong as his debut album but more of a whole than his second. Definitely will please his existing fanbase and may gain him a few more.
Squackett - A Life Within A Day
How prog is this! Steve Hackett (ex. Genesis) and Chris Squire (Yes) collaborate on a full album together. From the opening synth motif you know that you are dealing with top quality UK prog rock from a couple of people who's back catalogue would satisfy any fan of the genre. They are simply 2 giants having fun together out of their normal environments. Steve Hackett's stunning guitar playing litters these album, really up there with his efforts in Genesis and my favourite period of his solo material around the time of Spectral Mornings. The only negative point is some of the lyrics are a bit naff - sounding like the sort of nonsense I wrote in my 6th form days. But there are some stunning highlights Sea of Smiles being one in particular. The overall feel reminds me of the later Trevor Rabin period Yes. If you like that try this out.