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Colin Masson - The Southern Cross CD (album) cover

THE SOUTHERN CROSS

Colin Masson

 

Crossover Prog

3.58 | 33 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A new Colin Masson album with some old material!

Thanks to the explanation Colin gives in the CD booklet, we can know that some of the material released in this new album was actually composed in the 80s, so here we have a combination of old and new stuff, complementing each other and creating a great conceptual album. Entitled "The Southern Cross", in this album we will listen to hints of The Morrigan (the band in which Masson plays), symphonic prog, guitars ala Oldfield, and some folk and traditional passages.

The album is formed by nine compositions, making a total time of one hour. It starts with "Never Come Back", one of the shortest tracks, whose sound has a strong folkish element, with nice percussion and acoustic guitars. The lyrical concept starts here since the very first second, so we have to pay attention to it if we want to understand the whole concept.

"Sails of Silver" starts with a soft and delicate sound, relaxing and charming for two minutes, until it suddenly changes and becomes very Oldfield-like, with that great electric guitar. Later a flute appears, while acoustic guitar and keyboards as background complement the scenario. Then the song shares different passages, the soft and charming sound reappears for some minutes, but as you guess, it will change to that joyful guitar oriented style. Cool track!

"South Australia" is one of my favorite compositions. It is a track that has the capacity of creating several images and producing a diversity of sensations. The first part is purely instrumental, but after three minutes vocals appear and put a mediaeval and war-like sound. There is an inherent folk flavor on this song. Later, keyboards appear and add their grain of sound, helping with a background and putting new textures and nuances. Wonderful and challenging song!

"The Wreckers" is the first track featuring Cathy Alexander on vocals. The music shares in moments a tense and intriguing atmosphere, complemented by her voice. There is an instrumental passage which is wonderful, full of hope and great expectations, but it fades out after five minutes, when vocals appear once again. "Compass Rose" is another short track, an instrumental one with cool guitar notes, and nice atmospheric keyboards. Both create a structure and decide when to increase and lower the sound.

Now with "Intermission With Moon Cycles" we have the shortest piece, which actually works as an intermission between the first and second half, here we listen to a voice explaining this. And side two starts with a strong bass sound in "The Heart of the Machine". This song has a rockier style, the folk element practically disappeared here. The sound is good but catchier, and honestly this is not my favorite track at all.

"Ocean of Storms" is the first of the two epics of the album. This song is really beautiful, it is like being on a journey in a boat, a ship, you can feel crossing the seas while listening to it. I love how with the seconds new elements are being added and can be appreciated. The music along with Cathy's vocals are surrounding and involving you little by little until you are inside the story. The atmosphere is awesome, and the quantity of images you can create is countless. You just have to let the music take you, and then you will decide what to see, what to listen, what to do. This is a truly progressive rock song, one of the highlights of this album without a doubt!

And finally "The Southern Cross", which is a wonderful mixture of all we've listened so far. Here the symphonic sound, the folk elements and that personal Colin Masson style can be perfectly heard here. In this 14-minute track we will also delight with different changes in time and humor; in the first minutes we will have an instrumental, well-structured track full of colors and images. Later vocals appear and give a different route. The guitar riffs are heavier than the previous tracks, the bass lines repetitive but addictive, and the keyboards great as usual. With this track, the journey sadly finishes, but left us with a great taste of mouth.

Colin Masson is a wonderfully talented musician, and I am happy to have his music. I really hope more people listen to him, he deserves it. My final grade will be four stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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