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On disc: Jim Gilmour

- Great Escape - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Great Escape

Great Escape
(ProgRock Records - 2007)

Most will know Jim Gilmour as the keyboarder of Saga, but this is his second solo album and so the question of the necessity of solo albums will be started allover again. And I guess the question can't be answered in general, but I think that this album shows Gilmour from a different view. On Great Escape Gilmour gathered 10 songs - including 5 instrumentals. A wise decision, coz his voice isn't very powerful and his range is limited, but he knows very well how to use his vocal chords. Guitars are played by John Bianchini who also produced the album together with Gilmour, but still this is an album for keyboarders and people who love keyboards, synthesizers, etc. The opening track No Sign gives a good idea about the album as it has vast keyboard lines, some progressive arrangements, psychedelic sounds and even some jazziness. Here Jim Gilmour's vocals fit well, but he focuses on the music, even if some lines are almost catchy... Drummer Roger Banks - who plays on track 1, 2, 5, 9 + 10 - is hitting hard and so adds some heaviness... Perhaps best described as new art rock or heavy art rock... When you listen to Algonquin you hear some sequences of flowing water... A reference to the river Ottawa where the tribe of Agonquin lived / lives - fits perfect as Gilmour dedicated the album to the great Canadian wilderness. And in a way you can picture the wilderness which inspired him, if you let the songs create pictures in your mind.. At Lost Along The Way you can hear some Saga-ish parts and during the chorus Gilmour sounds fragile. In combination with Corrina Tofani's vocals the brittleness in his voice - and words - give the tune a softness... sweetness. I guess that Saga fans will find their favorite sound in this one. Every song surprised the listener as on Killarney Sunrise - a reference to his Scottish roots? - where symphonic sounds and jazz elements are combined in one song. While Wasteland is the song to let you carry away, Canoe Do It? is a rock tune and the heaviest track on Great Escape.
The musical spectrum of Great Escape is vast. Perhaps not every fan of Saga will love Jim Gilmour's sophomore opus, but fans of modern art rock and jazz rock should check this one out! This is probably you escape from daily routine... Well done!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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