Thursday, December 12, 2013

CD Review: A Couple Of Debut Albums With Ties To The Progressive Rock Band Yes

British musician Geoff Downes has been involved in the creation of New Wave music and has also been a member of one of the biggest progressive rock bands of all time. Now he is joining forces with British singer/songwriter Anne-Marie Helder on their latest project, New Dance Orchestra. This is the duo's debut album together and has only been available as a direct to consumer basis, until now.

The twelve song release entitled "Electronica" is a great way to describe the sound of this release. Club beats and keyboards take lift-off on the opening song "Shine On" as Downes' fans are introduced to the beautiful voice of Helder. All of the instruments and programming is performed by Downes as he is a long way from his days with Yes and Asia. The pace quickens for the techno-fueled beats of "Movin' On" and the experimentation of "Breaking The Spell." New Dance Orchestra find the balance of pop and dance on "Love Is Not Enough" and "Jinx," before returning to the club with the eighties keyboard sound of "Remember The Day." The album closes with the airiness of "Golden Days" as Helder's voice is allowed to soar.

To find out more about New Dance Orchestra and their new album "Electronica," please visit newdanceorchestra.com.

From Los Angeles, CA we get the debut album from XNA entitled "When We Changed You." The band consists of Genesis tribute band vocalist David Hussey and keyboardist/Star Trek Convention founder Adam Malin. The album was released back in October and was produced by Billy Sherwood (Yes).

The quick two-minute instrumental "At Childhood's Beginning" leads the listener on an adventure that continues with the classic progressive rock of "When We Changed You." XNA experiment a little more on the fifteen-minute epic of "Banner Of The Whyte Boar" as they are allow to stretch the musical boundaries of rock. They put on a mini-rock opera within "The Flying Dutchman," before closing the album with the sixteen-minute closer "At Childhood's End," which showcases the full talent of the band.

To find out more about this exciting new band, please visit xnaband.com.

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