Dan Reed has always been able dodge the pigeon holing of his music by making every release, innovative, exciting and diverse and `Liftoff’ is no different but it does see him forging some links back to his earlier releases.
The title track is a smooth, almost sensual affair that has the ability to wrap you up and smother you in love, something we all need in the current climate.
In Fact, Reed is quoted as saying “In these challenging times I am happy to try to bring some musical solace to these days”. `Spaceship Built For Two’ starts off with the inevitable NASA style voiceover but blends a beautiful melody with sweet vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar.
Landslide’ is the first rocky ballad here where smooth keyboard padding and soft distorted guitar add a little meat to the track.
Back To Earth’ has a bluesy guitar part weaving into a mainly acoustic track which oozes that trademark Reed harmonised vocal broken up by spoken word part of the way through.
Hang Back’ gets its groove on as a catchy riff plays off against electric piano. This track will get feet tapping without a doubt.
Its strangely infectious. `Docking Sequence’ has haunting guitars on the edge of break up which give way to some classic soloing on this instrumental only track.
Shed My Skin’, co-written by Richard Hilton (Chic), who Reed worked with on `Slam’, takes a drum rhythm and entwines keyboards and singing guitars and lyrically plots the way to a better day.
Butterfly’ has more modern feel with synth melodies, reversed guitar passages which gives way to a harder riff at the bridge. We are getting closer to early Reed era material here.
Deeper Than Our Fear’ was co written by Mason Hill’s Jason Bird and sees him adding guitar mastery to this enigmatic track. `Man Of War’ is a slow builder but its deep, well-constructed lyrics make this track spine tinglingly good.
Heaven In Flames’ has a drum beat and bassline somehow remind me of Vangelis `Chariots Of Fire’ but this love song is so much more. Play this when you are holding the one you love and sparks will fly!
Dan Reed has that unique ability to write meaningful lyrics, add a killer melody to it and to top it off, sing with a vocal tone that is like warm honey.
This album may well be the musical antidote to COVID 19 in that it will warm, relax, reassure and wrap you in a blanket of love and tenderness with no sharp edges. A perfect way to make the world a more bearable place.
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Review by Paul Sabin for MPM