Title - 'Suburban Ghosts'
Artist - Downes Braide Association
For those not in the know abut this famous duo, Geoff Downes is an English rock songwriter, record producer, and musician, mainly a keyboardist. He is also better known as a member of the new wave duo The Buggles, progressive rock band Yes, and supergroup Asia.
Chris Braide is an English singer, songwriter, and record producer currently based in Los Angeles. Braide has worked as a songwriter and producer in the UK and the US and was co-founder and co-producer of 'Producers' alongside the renowned Trevor Horn.
As for this superduo known as the Downes Braide Association, they started working together as DBA on the 2012 album Pictures of You, which also came out on Cherry Red Records in November of that year. Now, some three years later, the duo have released their stunning second album, Suburban Ghosts, and boy, what a total musical joy it truly is to behold.
1. "Machinery Of Fate"
2. "Suburban Ghosts – Parts 1 and 2'
3. "Suburban Ghosts – Part 3"
5. "Number One"
7. "North Sea"
8. "One Of The Few"
9. "Time Goes Fast"
10. "Live Twice"
11. "Dreaming Of England"
Here on Suburban Ghosts, you will hear Braide’s mathematical and often purposely auto-tuned vocals, but anyone looking for progressive rock will likely be disappointed. More akin to electro-pop, the duo engage in that genre aplenty here, and that is totally fine with me. Introducing a rock edge in much the same vein as he did with his song crafting skills for ASIA, Downes knows his way around this music blindfolded. The tracks are all focused on England, have no qualm of that, and that in itself can be a depressing entity at the best of times.
You don't believe me, well as Braide himself reveals, "Suburban Ghosts is an album about isolation and loneliness in small town suburbia. A blank town under a sky full of stars, the same blank town you left behind. Now everyone has long gone, you're haunted by images of those former frost covered school gates and the laughter of children in the park and of the lovers you had once loved. The alternative life you could have lived."
Downes also has said that, "Chris never ceases to amaze with his application to the finest detail. And as on our previous collaboration, Pictures Of You, I provided him with the musical fabric and raw materials, and from that point he has manufactured and polished our latest gem with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker.”
In conclusion, Suburban Ghosts incorporates some of Braide's most cleanest, most evocative vocal stints to date, and combined with Downes' pianos and stunning, at times genius keys, the album is simply not a flashback to an era that a lot of us wish still existed, it is much more than that. It is a magic carpet ride atop brilliant, well constructed, artful tunes that recall the best electronic music of the 80's - and, hopefully, now beyond!
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