Fireworks

Charles Brown - 'Light Of The Dawn' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 31, 2013    
 
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A good album and in places reaches beyond that.

Having been teaching and composing music for over thirty years, it comes as no surprise to discover that Charles Brown (and yes I'm avoiding any cheap beagle or peanut jokes) is an extremely fine guitarist, his music also been widely used at Asian film festivals. It is this last fact that gives us the greatest insight into the Heavy/Progressive/Synth instrumental style of Charles' latest offering 'Light Of The Dawn', the ten original tracks managing to offer up a strong feeling of narrative and mood and strongly portraying imagery and story through the varying atmospheres they introduce.

The beautiful title track is a perfect example, with the acoustic guitar work surging over gentle washes of keyboards (courtesy of Steve Espinosa) to marvellous effect, whereas surprisingly the song which precedes it, 'The Final Frontier', plants itself firmly between Deep Purple and (tasteful) guitar shred. These songs, good though they are make for strange bedfellows and there's no escaping the feeling that they would work far more potently backing some sort of film or documentary, rather than being presented in isolation. The album continues with acoustic musings being interspersed with riffing workouts and the odd moment of keyboard inspiration, becoming enjoyable enough without ever really capturing the attention. Indeed by the time you are heading for the end of 'Light Of The Dawn' the shifts between acoustic plucking, keyboard atmospheres and Metal bursts has become all too expected and begins to wear thin.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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To close, we get a restrained instrumental take on a Marillion/Fish medley, piecing together 'Kayleigh', 'Easter', 'Sugar Mice' and 'A View From The Hill'. Combining tracks from either side of Marillion's split with Fish and a touch of the big Scot's solo musings is interesting and works well, however again in a way which doesn't really connect it with the main album. Although, it is to be fair a "bonus" track.

'Light Of The Dawn' is a good album and in places reaches beyond that. However unless instrumental Rock/Prog is specifically your bag, there's no denying it will fall into that category marked "acquired taste". As ever with this style of music, you can't help but wonder the heights that could have been achieved had it been a full on band endeavour...

Steven Reid

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