CD Reviews

Solstice - 'Spirit' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 07, 2011    
0.0 (0)
4259   0   1   0   0   0





The first new studio album from the band for many years.

This is the first new studio album from the band for many years, and follows the reissue of their earliest studio releases plus live Cropredy set (see reviews in Fireworks #31). It also marks the most stable line up of the entire thirty years since the band's original inception: Andy Glass (remaining founder member and chief song writer: guitars and vocals), Emma Brown (vocals), Steve McDaniel (keyboards), Jenny Newman (violin) and Robin Phillips (bass) all featuring on the Cropredy recording from 1998: at which time ex-Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker was still with the band. Occupying the drum stool now is Pete Hemsley.

Solstice can hardly be regarded as prolific as this is only their fourth studio album, and since actively returning to action around 2007, have taken their time to get 'Spirit' just right! Besides treating potential purchasers to seven new tracks of somewhat languid progressive rock spiced with elements of folk and ethnic influences, the band has also delivered a tasty bonus DVD of a low-key concert recorded in Milton Keynes in July 2009. Not only does this include live renditions of five of the seven new tracks on 'Spirit', there are also performances of tracks that go back to the band's earliest days, and include 'Cheyenne', 'Sacred Run', 'Brave New World', 'Ducks On The Pond' and 'Chicken Train': this latter song including an amusing interactive section with the audience. Seeing new song, the über-political 'Freedom' performed live also brings this into clearer focus than is the case from just hearing it on 'Spirit'. It is quite different from anything else on the album, and includes a pre-recorded segment from anti-war lobbyist Adam Kokesh, apparently a veteran of American military interventions in the Middle East. It is so redolent of protest songs of the late 60s…

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site

'Spirit' plays for just over the hour and the track lengths vary between just under seven minutes (the previously mentioned 'Freedom' and 'Here & Now') to nearly twelve minutes (the album's closing number, and title track). It particularly showcases the skilful playing of guitarist Andy Glass (stylistically he fits somewhere between Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani and Jeff Beck) the fiddle of Jenny Newman (the Celtic stylings on 'Oberon's Folly' are to die for if you love this sort of thing!), and the vocals of Emma Brown which subtly complement the various stylings present here.

'Spirit' needed the minimum of six plays that I try to give all review albums in order to tease out its strengths and qualities, and I am convinced that I will continue to find more in the future. It is full of sublime mood music, ambient textures and sophisticated slightly jazzy instrumental passages that combine to set Solstice aside from other British progressive bands featuring female lead vocals. However, I do think that the production comes across as rather dry, the five tracks performed live on the accompanying DVD gave most of them an added warmth and vibrancy that is somehow absent from the studio renditions. Perhaps after all this time, the band was trying to be just a wee bit too perfect, and I would ask them to try and replicate more of the spirit of their live performance in the studio next time around.

Paul Jerome Smith

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  July 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
    1  2  3  4  5
  6  7  8  9101112

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 2 weeks, 1 day ago
  • Rocktopia Te : @kbm1983: Currently, all orders have to be be processed manually. This could take a few hours. Sorry for the delay, you shoulkd have received a mail containing download instructions by now. @ all: Pls. do not worry in case you see a PayPal transaction error message. Your order was received, pls. do not order the magazine twice. Many thanks for your understanding!
  • kbm1983 : Hi, I bought #91 earlier today but its still not in my downloads. Can you check it out please. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @ Man Shaped Wolf: You should have received a mail containing download instructions yesterday. Sorry for the delay!
  • Man Shaped W : Hey, same as defron but for 91 :) excited to read our review
  • Berny : @Defron: Can you pls. check your mail? Many thanks, B. :)
  • Defron : Hi guys. Bought #90 couples of hours ago but still not in my downloads . Can you check pls regards Ro
  • Berny : @SoCal Rocker: Welcome back! There are 50 free issues of Fireworks Magazine for you (and of course all other Rocktopians) to download. Check out the news on the frontpage. Stay happy, safe & healthy. Best wishes to California!
  • SoCal Rocker : Hello from Burbank CA, I had to change my name and PW. How's anyone doing?
  • Rocktopia Te : @davidputnam: Could you please check your email? Many thanks & best regards, RT
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90 and received paypal receipt, but cant find in downloads. Please advise.
  • davidnputnam : I ordered 86 - 90, but cant find in Downloads. i have the paypal receipt.
  • Berny : @rarock: Glad we were able to sort this out. Thanks for your purchase!
  • rarock : Hi there. I have similar problem with Issue 90, payed by Paypal, but doesnt show in Orders or in Downloads. Thanks for help
  • KI2000 : Thanks Fireworks Magazine and Rocktopia!
  • Hysteria : WOW! Thanks to the Fireworks Team for this AMAZING offer. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!! \m/ \m/
  • Rocktopia Te : Check out the Fireworks Magazine Corona quarantine give - away!
  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
  • Rocktopia Te : @tomandpam: Hope this is now sorted and you were able to download the magazine
  • tomandpam : I ordered a download of #90 and it's not in my orders and I have the PayPal receipt. Can you help with this? Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Apologies for my late reply. Could you please contact me directly at «email» ? Many thanks in advance!
  • zom414 : Trying to change my password but the security question won't accept my answer, can you help?
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site