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Daymoon - 2011 - "All Tomorrows"

(65:16, MALS Records)


****+
                 
TRACK LIST:

1.  All Tomorrows 4:47
2.  TranscendenZ 2:28
3.  Human Again 7:34
4.  Marrakech 2:36
5.  Sorry 10:58
6.  Bell Jar 6:03
7.  First Rain 5:24
8.  Arklow 6:56
9.  News from the Outside 4:43
10. The Sum 13:49

LINEUP:

Fred Lessing Ц guitars; woodwinds; ethnic instruments; vocals
Paulo Catroga Ц keyboards; backing vocals
Adriano Pereira Ц reeds; backing vocals
Fernando Guiomar Ц guitars 
Luis Estorninho Ц bass 
With:
Bruno Capelas Ц drums 
Maria Joao Tavares Ц clarinet 
Luca Calabrese - French horn 
Paulo Chagas Ц reeds, woodwinds
Andy Tillison - keyboards, backing vocals
Hugo Flores Ц vocals 
Thomas Olsson Ц guitar 
Mats Johansson Ц keyboards 
Ines Lessing Ц backing vocals

Prolusion. DAYMOON is the creative vehicle of Portuguese composer and instrumentalist Fred Lessing, a solo project he's had on the side for some time, although never officially releasing any of the albums he's made over the years. This changed with "All Tomorrows", however, a production several years in the making where many of Fred's musical friends lent a helping hand in the recording, mix and production department. The album was initially released digitally on the bandcamp website in 2011, and the CD edition came courtesy of the Russian label MALS Records towards the end of the year.

Analysis. Enthusiasts about any given form of music have always been important. Whether they are non-musicians with a firm dedication to one or more types of music or musicians with a soft spot for a certain style or expression, they are vital in spreading the word about style and artists within it alike. Lessing belongs to the latter category, with a band history in rock and art rock stretching back to the 80's and an enthusiasm for progressive rock that has been maintained throughout. The Daymoon project is actually given 1985 as the origin year by the creator, so while the official debut didn't arrive until 2011 the project itself is closing in fast on its 30 year anniversary. And overall this is a pleasant first encounter with Lessing's musical baby, although an uneven one. The major negative asset is the lead vocals, Lessing's voice tends to be rather flat, and occasionally his delivery feels both forced and strained, which has a disrupting effect, in particular on the compositions that feature elongated vocal sequences. But in the calmer, dampened passages his voice does come more to its right, and at best he is a decent singer. And even when the material appears to be too challenging he stays in tone, so it's not a case of truly bad quality vocals we're dealing with as such. But those who have ears as sensible as this writer will feel that this CD is very much a hit and miss one in this department. Musically I'd say that this CD by and large resides within a late 70's Pink Floyd sphere. Dark, subtly brooding atmospheres are found aplenty, and while those who desire to find typically Pink Floydian features like Gilmouresque guitar solos will have to look elsewhere, the overall mood is of a similar nature, but with a few exceptions and additions to this sound. Folk and world music tinged creations and passages appear on regular occasions, especially in the early parts of the album, Marrakech the most obvious example of just that. And when Daymoon hits of on a Floydian streak that opens with epic-length piece Sorry, there's also room for pastoral inserts, occasional lapses into Jethro Tull-inspired landscapes and even a brief Caribbean flavored detour towards the end. And the compelling Bell Jar, with what appears to be a synth bass theme foundation, adds in a majestic build up that erupts into a brief passage closer in sound to the likes of Ayreon. But variations and exceptions aside, the majority of the material, and especially the parts of it that stick to memory, has more of a late 70's Pink Floyd feel and sound to it; fairly accessible compositions, with distinct moods and atmospheres as their primary qualities.

Conclusion. "All Tomorrows" is a pleasant and promising debut from Fred Lessing's Daymoon project. With a fair amount of stylistic diversity throughout, especially the inclusion of folk music elements, but with an overall sound that should appeal to fans of late 70's Pink Floyd more than anything. The lead vocals will make this disc something of a hit and miss affair to some, and as such those who find this part of a CD to be vitally important might want to approach this one with a bit of caution.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: September 15, 2012
The Rating Room


Related Links:

MALS Records
Daymoon


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