Fireworks

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Alan Reed - 'Honey On The Razor's Edge' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/cc/35/8b/alan-reed-honey-on-the-razors-edge-76-1501766706.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 03, 2017    
 
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Alan Reed and Pallas fans will lap this up.

Alan Reed is the owner of a marvellously unique and distinctive voice which has graced recordings by both Abel Ganz and, of course, the mighty Pallas. In my opinion, some of the latter's songs don't sound right without Reed's distinctive rasp. The downside, if there is one, being that hearing that voice immediately invites the unavoidable Pallas comparison.

It's been over four years since his debut solo album, 'First In A Field of One', saw the light of day, but the wait has been worth it as he's produced eight fine, wide ranging compositions which demonstrate his prowess as a writer. Actually, make that seven out of eight, as the closing track 'Northern Light' isn't quite of the same standard – it's a bit limp and the main refrain is repeated for so long that it becomes obtrusive. Reed is joined by former Pallas cohort Mike Stobbie (keys) and erstwhile Pendragon man Scott Higham (drums), plus some guests including Claude Leonetti (Lazuli), Christina Booth (Magenta) and Steve Hackett.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'My Sunlit Room' opens proceedings and has a Jean-Michel Jarre style synth introduction before the guitars hit home and we're into a number that would grace any Pallas album. 'Razor' has a fine doubled vocal arrangement which, along with the underpinning theme, lends a lovely menace to the song; judging by the lyrics that was the desired effect. Hackett also provides a harmonica solo which is echoed in very effectively. 'Cross My Palm' is yet another track one could imagine being a Pallas number, there's a wonderful synth solo, lovely rumbling bass and very strong refrains and chorus. 'Leaving' takes the pace down with just an acoustic guitar, Hammond Organ and voice, it put me in mind of Simon & Garfunkel.

'The Other Side Of Morning' has a similar vibe to the preceding song, but with piano rather than organ. It's a track that builds marvellously across its nine minute length. 'The Covenanter' is piano-led, has a really good chorus and is wonderfully rousing, whilst 'Used To Be Someone' has melancholy beginnings before it too builds in both power and intensity. The aforementioned '...Light' isn't the song I'd have chosen to close out the album, it has a hymn-like quality and only really catches fire towards the end with the organ solo.

Alan Reed and Pallas fans will lap this up, and it should have a wider appeal too.

Gary Marshall

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