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Chris - 'City Of Light' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/61/bb/28/chris-city-of-light-57-1371436585.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 17, 2013    
 
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Taking its lead from the prog giants of the past and reinventing their sound and style with a present day twist.

‘City Of Light’ is the third solo album from Dutch multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter Christiaan Bruin and follows on from ‘A Glimpse Inside’ and ‘Making Sense’ from 2009 and 2010 respectively. Aside from his solo endeavours, Bruin is also known as the drummer in proggers Sky Architects. It comes as no surprise therefore that ‘City Of Light’ has its roots firmly planted in the prog rock genre and more specifically the neo-prog era that began with the likes of IQ. Whilst he plays the majority of the instruments and handles all vocals, this is not entirely a one man endeavour as Bruin is also joined on a couple of tracks by lead guitarist Bas Immerzel. This modus operandi has, of course, become more commonplace with the advances in twenty first century recording techniques and Bruin certainly makes the most of the tools at his disposal that to some degree gives the impression you are listening to an album performed by a conventional ‘band’ set-up.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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On his previous solo outings Bruin has explored 60s major influencers The Beach Boys and The Beatles through to the 70s and 80s proggers such as Genesis and the aforementioned IQ. These traits are less evident on 'City Of Light' which utilises a far more contemporary feel including distorted vocals, fragmented samples and muscular percussion although the unmistakable sound of the Mellotron still evokes memories from a more vintage era. There are six songs here each of which has a slightly off-kilter vibe, with the melodramatic and theatrical voice effects seemingly at odds with the smooth melodies, although when it works well (‘Blessings And Goodbyes’, ‘The Sky Falls Down’) the end result is both innovative and appealing. At times, however, it can certainly be argued that the album may have benefited from the critical ear of a producer or collaborator who may have reigned in some of the more eclectic tendencies.

In summary, ‘City Of Light’ is an album that succeeds in taking its lead from the prog giants of the past and reinventing their sound and style with a present day twist.

Dean Pedley

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