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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Downes Braide Association - Suburban Ghosts

The moment I put on Suburban Ghosts on my platform CD player, I can imagine a trip back in time where music was really, really good. And the collaboration between Chris Braide (This Oceanic Feeling) who wrote lyrics for Beyonce, Pharrell Williams, and Marc Almond to name a few, and with Keyboardist Geoffrey Downes (The Buggles, Asia, and Yes), it’s an excellent collaboration and combination of the two. This is their second album and follow up to 2012’s first collaboration with Pictures of You.

The album deals with isolation, loneliness, and at times depression in a small suburbian landscape and it goes back to both Chris and Geoff’s childhood growing up in the area filled with wastelands, getting out of extreme fear and the irrational places that they need to survive and escape from. They start to try to find a new beginning, a new chapter, and a new adventure with the flashbacks of the ghostly past to finally let them go.

And the album itself, is a wonderful structure of finally letting go of the past and moving into the other world to see what new beginnings and ideas await for the people to escape the danger they are in. With a trip to the essence of the late ‘70s/early ‘80s as if it was recorded in that time period, you can imagine yourself being in your room playing from start to finish and just identifying yourself in the structure and the album will be a soundtrack for your life.

The riveting opener, Machinery of Fate starts with a very fast running rhythm beat that has a haunting/rising beat on the loss of hope by a sound of a Pat Benatar-sque groove that Downes gives shining melodic beats on the keyboards while Number One sounds between a combination of City Boy and Chris De Burgh. It almost as if it could have been used in an episode of Miami Vice with the chase sequence and the song kicks into high gear the moment Don Johnson’s character hits the pedal to catch crooks with his Ferrari Testarossa.

Vanity shows Braide’s vocals into a beaming effect on the imaginable and ripple composition as Downes Piano shows the dystopian nightmare that’s about to begin whilst escaping from the corruption. The catchy synth melodies on Time Goes Fast, has drum rhythms that is thumping and pounding with a chance to reach the stars and I hope one of these days it will become a live favorite if they get a chance to perform the composition to stand on their feet and clap to the sound.

The three-part title track, lifts your spirits high. There’s an interesting twist between Roxy Music’s Avalon-era and Yes’s 90125-era to jump ship as Guitar’s go into ascending beats with keyboard based electro-rock. Alongside both the two bands, there’s also the essence of Franco Battiato’s Patriots thrown into the blender. And Geoff himself, knows exactly where Chris goes into his vocal arrangements to move forward and see where the road will take into next.

It’s my third time listening to Suburban Ghosts. This is the right album at the right time for me in my opinion to delve into more of what I’ve experienced of my listening ears. It’s Synthpop, Electro-Rock, AOR (Album-Orientated Rock), and new wave at its best. 

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