Fireworks

Damian Wilson - 'I Thought The World Was Listening (1997 - 2011)' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/5b/0e/bf/2325_damienwilsonithoughttheworldwaslistening_1339772451.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 15, 2012    
 
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Quality rock music that is emotionally powerful.

Becoming a member of the Classic Rock Society at the turn of the millennium led to a significant re-expansion in my gig attending, which in turn introduced me to new music from bands whose output could have remained below my radar. One such band was Threshold, by then featuring “Mac” (Andrew McDermott) on vocals, although Wilson had been the original vocalist, and before that was lead singer with the prog band Landmarq. He then joined the ‘Les Misérables’ touring company where he had the lead role of Jean Valjean. He released his first solo album (in singer/songwriter mode) ‘Cosmas’ in 1997 followed by ‘Disciple’ four years later.

Thus it was I attended my first CRS ‘BOTYS’ (Best Of The Year Show) in December 2001. Pendragon headlined, with Wilson as support. I was captivated by the sensitive nature of his repertoire (quite different from his approach with Threshold) and by one of the most captivating performances by a solo performer I have ever witnessed. Purchase of the then newly-released ‘Disciple’ was de rigueur after that, of course, and it was no surprise that he also walked away with the ‘Best Male Singer’ gong (as he also did the following year). It was a while later that I purchased ‘Cosmas’ but both albums reveal very personal and emotional material associated with upheavals in his personal life, such as the heartfelt ‘Never Close The Door’. As I was also experiencing the final throes of a long-standing relationship at this time, many of the songs resonated very deeply with me – and, in fact, still do. These two albums provide nine of the thirty one tracks included here in their original form, plus four that have been re-recorded and also the divine demo recording of ‘Homegrown’ (from ‘Cosmas’).

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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His two later albums ‘Live In Rehearsal’ and ‘Let’s Start A Commune’ provide a further eleven songs as originally issued plus one re-recording. The remainder of the songs included on this very attractively presented double CD set are new. It really is an intoxicating overview of his solo output these past fourteen years, and should appeal to all readers of this magazine except those whose tastes are at the heavier end of the melodic spectrum and for whom often sparse, acoustic, piano or string quartet-backed songs are insufficiently substantive. For the rest of you unfamiliar with his solo work, this perhaps not quite definitive collection should easily reward purchase, but be prepared to discover what a versatile performer Wilson is, in case you are not already aware from his numerous guest appearances on the albums of others. Songs such as opener ‘Disciple’ and following song ‘Commune’ (lyrically including the present album’s title) immediately set the scene but the musical shades that emanate from the speakers thereafter are all an absolute delight to these ears.

A wonderful treasure trove that is required listening for anyone who enjoys quality rock music that is emotionally powerful.

Paul Jerome Smith

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