Band: Downes Braide Association
Band Website: www.downesbraide.com
Label: X2X Records
Release Date: 2013
More than ever before we live in a time of musical collaboration where musical genre boundaries no longer restrict participation. Enter Geoff Downes, noted prog keyboards player, Buggles founder, Asia and Yes member and Chris Braide, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and noted producer of the stars. Together they call themselves appropriately enough Downes Braide Association. What’s to be expected from a collaboration of this sort? Well interestingly imagine an updated musical version of The Buggles, with a hint of progressive rock sensibility at times and you wouldn’t be too far off the mark.
Pictures of You features nine tracks written together that neatly fall into the pop-rock work of hummable catchy tunes. Prog fans will be most interested in hearing the CD’s opening epic “Sunday News Suite” [13:07] that incorporates four different musical segments with a recurring opening and closing melody lines. This piece in particular is the most complex, weaving multiple themes and melodies through dense instrumental dynamics heavy on lush keyboard sounds. It’s a very good piece but unfortunately the only one like it. The other tunes, pop-songs, most in the three or four minute range will hold little interest for prog fans, although they are masterfully written, hummable with great catchy melodies, they remain material that will have little appeal to those looking for something a little more complex. In addition I think the repetitive electronic “disco” style drum patterns are likely to grow old somewhat quickly on fans looking for something more adventurous.
Downes Braid Association is a disc that Geoff Downes fans or completests will likely want to add to their collection, but by and large isn’t something prog fans in general will look to acquire. Great tunes, masterfully written and produced, just not for me. Although I do keep humming them. Maybe that’s a sign?