STEVE THORNE – Crimes & Reasons (2012)
UK multi-instrumentalist (but mainly guitar player and singer) STEVE THORNE has released a couple of captivating self managed albums during the last decade, and now has ready his third effort “Crimes & Reasons”.
Thorne is an artist that it’s hard to categorize because although he may utilise the skills of a number of Prog luminaries on his albums he’s not traditionally Prog. Neo-Prog maybe, he’s more a songsmith in the singer/songwriter style who just happens to have Prog leanings.
“Crimes & Reasons” is an immaculately recorded CD which delivers truly quality songs with intelligent thoughtful lyrics, often hard-hitting but occasionally set against tunes that belie the message.
Guest musicians are fewer this time around but unquestionably virtuous; the awesome ex- Spock’s Bread Nick D’Virgilio and Bob White provide drums whilst the great Tony Levin (bass), Gary Chandler (guitar) and ex- IQ Martin Orford (flute) plays flute on two tracks (briefly coming out of retirement from music), all make telling contributions.
Musically, Steve’s music is mature and melodic, mixing modern prog with melodic rock & pop-rock features. Having as a guide the less complicated & more tuneful aspects of Marillion, Spock’s Beard, Asia, It Bites, Arena and IQ, Steve manages to deliver amazingly beautiful songs.
“Already Dead” bounces along with a pleasing beat and an edgy vocal style, followed by “Bullets & Babies”, a song where the melody is contra to the sentiment with the tune being rather pleasant, melodic and extremely catchy while the lyrics to relate to conflicts around the globe. Half way through the tempo increases and the guitars get aggressive before expertly returning to the original theme.
The title track “Crimes & Reasons” has a fabulous melody and a structure that reminds me of Jadis, the unnamed female backing vocalist brings a nice touch to proceedings.
“Everything Under the Sun” laments the lot and loneliness of a widow; it has a hint of recent It Bites about it. A gentle theme matches the mood of the piece and the fretless bass and flute are wonderful accentuations that round out the arrangement beautifully.
“Fadeaway” features a loop to which sounds are added before the song bursts into a good aggressive riff that more than carries the lyrical content about the motives and inadequacy of politicians.
The track segues beautifully into “Moth To Flame”, a Marillion-like amazing atmospheric melodious prog rock tune with an excellent guitar work and a great instrumental outro.
“Blue Yonder” is a splendid poppy prog track driven on a nice acoustic guitar refrain with Chandler (Jadis) providing an excellent solo. “Making Plans” has a plaintive piano motif but again the song builds rather nicely and features yet more strong melodies.
“Modern Curse” has a melodic rock heart, an upbeat tune featuring a strong vocal delivery and very acerbic lyrics. The album closes with “Distant Thunder” where It Bites come to mind again with stupendous arrangements, just listen the last part…
“Crimes & Reasons” is a delightful CD that creates delightful warm pictures when you dive into it.
Steve Thorne is a very skilled songwriter, his voice is vibrant and colorful while his playing (he handles all types of instruments) is top notch. The guest musicians, by adding their personal touches to each song, are making the entire result even more enjoyable.
Production is very clear and rich, pristine I would say… excellent by any means.
If you like melodious modern Prog rock music (Neo Prog) with several Melodic Rock & pop-rock passages, well crafted, intelligent and superbly played then “Crimes & Reasons” will surely make your day.
01 – Already Dead
02 – Bullets And Babies
03 – Crimes & Reasons
04 – Everythin Under The Sun
05 – Fadeaway
06 – Moth To Flame
07 – Blue Yonder
08 – Making Plans
09 – Modern Curse
10 – Distant Thunder
Steve Thorne : vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass
Nick D’Virgilio : drums, percussion
Tony Levin : bass, stick
Martin Orford (ex IQ) : flute
Gary Chandler (Jadis) : guitar, backing vocals
Bob White : drums
BUY IT !