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Geoffrey Downes - Vox Humana (The New Dance Orchestra) CD (album) cover

VOX HUMANA (THE NEW DANCE ORCHESTRA)

Geoffrey Downes

 

Crossover Prog

1.95 | 2 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars The new age of plastic

Vox Humana was Geoffrey Downes' second solo album and also the second album for which he used the New Dance Orchestra name in addition to his own name. As the title indicates this is a vocal album and not another instrumental work like his first solo effort The Light Program. As such, the present album is very different from the previous one. Vox Humana features 13 tracks and almost as many vocalists. Geoff revisits his past here with re-makes of three older songs, Man In A White Car from Yes' Drama and Video Killed The Radio Star and The Plastic Age from The Buggles' The Age Of Plastic.

Max Bacon who sang lead vocals on the GTR album featuring Steve Howe and Steve Hackett and which Geoff produced sings on the opening track called Tears. John Payne, with whom Geoff would go on to make numerous Asia albums, sings on Plastic Age. Several other male and female vocalists appear including one that I initially thought was Chris Rainbow but which turned out to be someone else. Video Killed The Radio Star is erroneously listed as an instrumental in the CD booklet but it is a vocal version sung by what sounds like Glen Hughes (Hughes is not credited on this album, but knowing that Geoff worked with him elsewhere I'm pretty sure it must be him).

Given the presence of multiple vocalists and some brief keyboard dominated instrumentals in between this album reminded me a lot of 80's Alan Parsons Project albums. Naturally, there are some similarities with Asia but there is a lot less of Hard-edged Rock here. You could perhaps say that it sounds like an emasculated Asia without guitars. Geoff's partner in Yes and Asia, Steve Howe does appear on one track but he contributes only acoustic guitar.

Vox Humana is not a bad album but also not a very good one. If you expect something on the lines of The Light Program you are in for a disappointment but if you appreciate the music of the likes of Alan Parsons Project you might enjoy this album.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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