DBA (Downes Braide Association) – Pictures Of You (2013)
I was quite disoriented when I read some months ago about a collaboration between Geoff Downes (Asia, Yes, the Buggles) and Chris Braide (The Producers).
Geoff Downes needs no introduction, but Braide, apart for the very good project The Producers last year, could be unknown for the fellows readers of this site. Chris Braide is an internationally known singer, songwriter and producer who has worked with Lana Del Rey, David Guetta and Christina Aguilera to name some.
So what is DBA (Downes Braide Association) and their debut “Pictures Of You”? A compulsively listenable, enjoyable recording.
In “Pictures of You” expect Downes’ immense keyboard layers creating a lush atmosphere and ambience with Braide’s smooth, nearly wistful, vocal style complimenting the former. The music is rather gentle stuff, basically poppy AOR, arty melodic rock and with a bit of Neo Prog throwing in.
Despite Downes’ background, “Pictures Of You” probably shouldn’t be cast as progressive rock. However, the four part “Sunday News Suite” might come close, and not so far from his recent work with Yes on ‘Fly From Here’.
There are so many highlights on this album, you just need to start at the beginning and lose yourself in this sumptuous feast. You will feel elevated, and in a much better mood.
To name some “The Radiant Children” and “Pictures Of You” (the lyrics will instantly appeal to any ageing music lover) should be savoured, whilst “Road To Ruin” and “Live For The Moment” – with echoes of a more impassioned Deacon Blue – sum up the album’s overall lite AOR values (as in adult-oriented rock).
“Pictures Of You” draws a line straight back to Geoff Downes seminal pre-Asia work based on cadences similar to early MTV-era hits, while Braide stirs in elements of modernity (check out that crunchy rhythm on the title track) and some stylized stuff like The Producers.
With Downes you are always in very safe, experienced and, moreover, tasteful hands. Chris Braile’s vocal is blatantly auto-tuned for additional effect so in that sense it sounds very commercial and contemporary yet not synthetic or lifeless.
This is light, poppy AORish music with elegant arrangements and touches of subtle lite Prog, ’80s inspired yet modern at the same time.
Production and mix is awesome, making “Pictures Of You” a really palatable listening.
A stunning piece of work.
Geoff Downes: Keyboards, Vocals, Programming
Chris Braide: Vocals, Guitar
BUY IT !