Band: Downes Braide Association
CD Title: Skyscraper Souls
Label: X2X Records (2017)
Rating: Hits a lot of the right Prog Notes
This album, Skyscraper Souls marks the third collaboration for Geoff Downes and Chris Braide and more so than the previous two albums this one hits a lot of the right Progressive Rock notes and yet still manages to infuse each composition with a pleasing upbeat melodic pop feel. This kind of album reminds me of musical projects like Blackfield where you have one member more in tune with a prog sensibility and the other shall we say, more mainstream. The end result is kind of Progressive Pop album. It doesn’t always work but DBA3 is actually a great sounding disc in that regard because for me it leans a lot more to the Prog side of things this time around. The songs are longer, there are repeating opening and closing themes and there’s even the epic title track which comes in at over eighteen minutes doing all the things an epic prog song is supposed to do. The song, which is the title track, features many different segments all knitted together with smooth transitions and then the song builds and subsides in musical intensity, grand one moment soft and pastoral the next before picking up a previous musical theme or motif. The thing that makes the prog approach of DBA is that it’s smooth, clear and very modern sounding. It also reminds me of the type of prog that It Bites were doing in the eighties with songs like “Calling All Heroes”. So while their previous discs failed to ignite a fire in me, this release is quite good, full of pleasing hummable melodies crafted into songs that are complex and interesting enough to hold many symphonic prog fan’s attention. I’m giving this a qualified recommendation. Worth checking out, like me you just might like it.