Those regular readers of my blog will realise a couple of things; 1) I have not written for a very long time and 2) In all my journeying I have a deep love for music. Yet when an offer was made to obtain this release from a Facebook forum for readers of the excellent Prog Magazine, with the proviso that a review would be made on a blog I could not resist to both add to my collection of CD’s and hear something new from an aspiring artist.
Ghostly Beard is the moniker of artist Patrick Talbot, who not only wrote all the lyrics and music on this release, but also played all instruments and did all vocals. Such talent makes me sick, lol. First off I love both the name and the artwork. Stunning album cover that immediately grabs my attention. But what of the music? Five tracks that are described as encompassing soft rock, jazz, prog rock, fusion, pop, classic rock and more. A very broad soundscape of genres and music. But does it deliver? Here is my track by track surmising;
Close Your Eyes- The sound of a clock ticking is the introduction to the first track. A sound that a few artists have used over the years. Then comes the music; gentle swathes of keyboard and guitar. The mood reminds me of the k-scope band Nosound, or the more ambient moments of No-Man. The solo is very Gilmour-esque. The softer sounds of Floyd remain all over this release. This is an impressive opener that draws you into a world of chilled out moods and great musicianship. Incredible to think this is the work of just one man.
“If there’s a chance
That ll your failures be redeemed
You may find peace and quiet is hiding in the loving of a child.”
Frozen in Time- Again a gentle sound permeates the ears of the listener. A sense of peace floods over the soul as these songs unfold. Great bass sound on this track. I think this is my favourite track on the release. The solo again is pure Gilmour. This is quite a commercial, catchy number that I could just put on repeat and listen to over and over. My only complaint. It seems to be over all too quickly.
“No more sorrow
Running under current
Lighting all our love”
No Return- Another great track. This one reminds me musically of Peter Gabriel’s more tribal stuff, and yet the keyboard and electronic sounds permeating takes it to an altogether different place. An almost Stranglers type vocal joins the fray, but it never stops the sense of hope that glides around the sound. The guitar and keys are almost reminiscent of some seventies movie, and yet the track is very much up to date. A great track. Then Gilmour brings in the solo again.
Limitless- My least favourite track on the E.P. Just doesn’t do it for me. More of a soft rock approach here, but it lacks the unexpected sounds and journeys of the other tracks. Could be a radio hit, but then could also so easily be that background elevator music. Although I do love the (sound of) the oboe solo, which is over far too quickly.
“My love, in the end, will be limitless.”
Winter Dance- The release ends with an instrumental. A beautiful number that incorporates a real jazz/fusion sound. Again it washes over gently, and all the instrumentation is perfect. A track which again is far too short. This could have journeyed and washed over me so much more over a greater time period. Leaves me intrigued and wanting more. Patrick Talbot is an incredible talent.
In conclusion, an impressive initial release from Talbot. I look forward to journeying more and hearing where he takes all these influences next. It is a release that is well worth investigation and investing in. The future looks bright for the artist known as Ghostly Beard. Hear him here first.